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Full text of "Six little Bunkers at Captain Ben's"

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil 



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UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



00041406488 









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LADDIE AND VI WERE BEING TAKEN OUT ON THE BROAD BAY. 
±ix Little Bunkers at Captain Ben's Frontispiece— {Page 159) 



SIX LITTLE BUNKERS 
AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 



BY 

LAURA LEE HOPE 

Author of "Six Little Bunkers at Grandma Bell's," "Six 

Little Bunkers at Aunt Jo's," "Six Little Bunkers 

at Uncle Fred's," Etc. 



ILLUSTRATED 



NEW YORK 

GROSSET & DUNLAF 

PUBLISHERS 



<P 



BOOKS 

By LAURA LEE HOPE 

12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. 



THE SIX LITTLE BUNKERS SERIES 

SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT GRANDMA BELL'S 
SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT AUNT JO'S 
SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT COUSIN TOM'S 
SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT GRANDPA FORD'S 
SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT UNCLE FRED'S 
SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 



THE BOBBSEY TWINS SERIES 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST 



THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S 

FARM 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING 

CIRCUS 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S 

CITY HOME 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP 

REST-A-WHILE 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG 

WOODS 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO 

TOUR 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR 

SHETLAND PONY 
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRIST- 
MAS TREE COVE 



THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES 

(Nine Titles) 



GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK 

Copyright, 1920, hy 
GROSSET & DUNLAP 



Six Little Bunkers at Captain Ben's 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. The Smoking Chimney 1 

II. The Climbing Man 11 

III. The Invitation 22 

IV. Another Vacation 32 

V. The Missing Watch 44 

VI. Off to Grand View 53 

VII. The Storm 62 

VIII. A Queer Night 73 

IX. In the Ditch 83 

X. The Bad Ram 91 

XI. The Apple Boy 100 

XII. Offering Help 110 

XIII. The Missing Boy 122 

XIV. In the Old Log 133 

XV. The Bunkers Get Together 142 

XVI. An Unexpected Ride 151 

XVII. The Ragged Men 160 

XVIII. More Things Gone 168 

XIX. Lots of Fun 180 



iv CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XX. The Flood 189 

XXI. An Island Picnic 199 

XXII. After the Tramps 211 

XXIII. The Old Satchel 219 

XXIV. Tad's News 227 

XXV. The Capture .- 234 



SIX LITTLE BUNKERS 
AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

CHAPTER I 

THE SMOKING CHIMNEY 

"One, two, three, four, five, six !" 

Russ Bunker counted thus, pointing his 
finger at five children in turn, until he reached 
himself, when he stooped down and turned a 
somersault on the floor of the attic. 

"Oh, look at Russ!" cried Rose, the sister 
nearest him in age. "How funny he did it!" 

"What made you do it, Russ ?" asked Violet, 
or Vi as she was called for short. "What 
made you flop over that way? Did it hurt 
your head ? Did you get any splinters in your 
hands? Did you " 

"Say! Hold on a minute! Wait!" cried 

Russ, with a laugh, as Vi stood with her mouth 

open all ready to ask another question. "If 

we're going to play the steamboat game I can't 

answer all those questions." 

1 



2 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Are you going to play the steamboat 
game?" cried Vi, jumping up and down so that 
her curly hair bobbed back and forth in and 
out of her grey eyes. "Oh, what fun! But 
please tell me, Russ, what made you count us 
all that way, as if we were going to play tag? 
And what made you flop over, and what " 

"There you go again with your questions!" 
interrupted Russ, with another laugh. "You 
can't seem to stop, Vi. You don't give any 
one else a chance." 

"And I know a nice riddle I can ask, too," 
broke in Laddie, who was his sister Violet's 
twin. "I know a riddle about what makes the 
paper stick on the wall and if it falls off " 

"I asked first!" broke in Vi. "Just tell me 
what made you count us all out just as if we 
were going to play tag, Russ, and then what 
made you do a flop-over. Tell me that, and 
then we'll play the steamboat game." 

"All right, I'll answer just those questions 
and no more," promised Russ. "Then we'll 
have some fun. I counted you all out — one, 
two, three, four, five — six — that's me — be- 
cause I wanted to see if we were all here." 

As there were six little Bunkers, it was 



THE SMOKING CHIMNEY 3 

sometimes needful to count them, one by one, 
to make sure all were on hand. This was 
what Russ had done. 

"And I turned a somersault when I came to 
myself, just because I felt so good," the dark- 
haired boy went on with a merry whistle. 
"Come on, we'll play the steamboat game now. 
Rose, you please get out the spinning wheel, 
and Margy and Mun Bun, you bring over the 
littlest footstools. Don't bring the big ones, 
'cause they're too heavy for you." 

"Shall we sit on 'em footstools ?" asked Mun 
Bun, as he shook his golden hair out of his 
blue eyes. 

"Yes, you sit on one footstool and Margy 
can sit on the other," said Russ. "Now, don't 
both of you try to sit on the same one, or 
there'll be a fuss, and we'll never get to play- 
ing. Can you bring the spinning wheel all 
alone, Rose?" 

"Yes, it isn't heavy," answered Rose, the 
oldest girl of the six little Bunkers. "It drags 
over the floor easy." And as she pulled to the 
middle of the attic, from the dark corner where 
it had stood all summer, a big, old-fashioned 
spinning wheel, Rose hummed a little song. 



4 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S • 

She generally was humming or singing, when 
she was not helping her mother in the house- 
work. For where there were so many chil- 
dren, there were more matters to attend to 
than Mrs. Bunker, Norah, the Irish cook, or 
Jerry Simms, the odd-chore man, could well 
look after, and Rose was glad to aid. She was 
a regular little "mother's helper," and her 
father often called her that. 

So while Rose brought over the spinning 
wheel and Margy and Mun Bun the footstools, 
Laddie and Violet appealed to their older 
brother. 

"I want to do something!" complained Vi. 

"So do I," added Laddie. "If I don't do 
something I'm goin' to think up another riddle. 
I know one about " 

"No, you don't!" cried Russ, with a laugh. 
"No more riddles until we get the steamboat 
started. Here, you bring over some of the 
bigger footstools, Laddie. And Vi can help 
you. Now we're all working — all six of us;" 
and as Russ spoke he began dragging out of 
the corners of the attic some chairs and light 
boards, with which he intended to build the 
"steamboat." 



THE SMOKING CHIMNEY 5 

Of course it was not a regular vessel, nor 
did it sail on water. In fact, there was no 
water in the attic of the house where the six 
little Bunkers lived. There was no water even 
when it rained, for the roof had no holes in 
it, and the attic made a lovely place for the 
children to play. 

It was not raining now, and, if they had 
wished, the children could have had fun out in 
the yard. But they had just returned from 
a jolly vacation spent in the open on Uncle 
Fred's ranch in the West, and perhaps they 
felt that to play indoors would be a welcome 
change. They were as brown as berries from 
having been so much out in the sun and the 
wind. 

"All aboard! All aboard the steamboat!" 
called Russ, when the boards, chairs, foot- 
stools, spinning wheel and other things had 
been put in place near the center of the attic. 
"All aboard! Toot! Toot! Don't anybody 
fall into the water! Hand me that bundle, 
Rose, please," said Russ to his sister nearest 
him in age. 

"Has it got life preservers in it?" asked 
Violet. "If it has, can I put one on, and will 



6 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

you let me make believe fall in the water, Russ ? 
And will you pull me out, and " 

"There you go again! As bad as ever!" 
laughed Russ. "No, these aren't life pre- 
servers ! They're sugar cookies, and I got them 
for us to eat on the steamboat! All aboard! 
Toot! Toot!" 

"Oh, sugar cookies! I'm glad!" cried Mun 
Bun. "I likes sugar cookies, don't you, 
Margy?" he asked, as he sat close to his little 
sister on the footstool. 

"I 'ikes any kind," she lisped, a form of talk 
she had not altogether gotten over since her 
"baby" days. 

"Here we go!" cried Russ at last, and he 
took his place in a chair in front of the big 
spinning wheel, the package of cookies beside 
him. The spinning wheel was the only part 
of the "steamboat" that really moved. It 
could be turned around in either direction, and 
was almost as large, and almost the same 
shape, as the big steering wheel on the big, real 
steamers. Of course it had no "spokes" on 
the outer rim to take hold of, but Russ did not 
need them. The spinning wheel was an old 
one that had belonged to Mrs. Bunker's great- 



THE SMOKING CHIMNEY 7 

grandmother, and though the children were 
allowed to play with it they were always told 
they must be very careful not to break it. And 
I must do them the credit to say that they 
were, nearly always, very careful. 

"All aboard!" called Russ again, just as he 
had often heard the men on real boats say it. 
"Don't anybody fall off." 

"I don't want to fall off till I gets my 
cookie," remarked Mun Bun. 

"And if we fall we don't have to fall as far 
as Russ does, 'cause he's so high up on a chair 
and we're low down, on little stools," added 
Margy. 

"That's so !" laughed Russ, as he twisted the 
spinning wheel around, to make believe steer 
the steamboat out into the middle of the pre- 
tend river. 

Of course the steamboat did not move at all. 
It just remained in one place on the attic floor. 
But the six little Bunkers did not mind that. 
They pretended that they were steaming along, 
and, every once in a while, Russ would toot 
the whistle, or give some order such as might 
be given on a real boat. 

"When are we goin' to eat?" asked Laddie, 



8 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

after a time, during which the boat had made 
make-believe stops at London, Paris and As- 
bury Park. "Can't I have a sugar cookie, 
Russ?" 

"Yes, I guess it's time to eat now," agreed 
the older boy. 

"Whoa, then!" cried Laddie. 

"What are you saying 'whoa' for?" de- 
manded Russ, looking around. 

" 'Cause I want the steamboat to stop," an- 
swered Laddie. "It jiggles so — make believe, 
you know — I'm afraid I'll drop my sugar 
cookie in the water." 

"You mustn't say 'whoa' on a boat!" went 
on Russ. 

"Laddie was thinking he was out on Uncle 
Frank's ranch, riding a cow pony, I guess," 
said Rose. "That's why he said 'whoa' ; didn't 
you, Laddie?" 

"I guess so," answered the little fellow. 
"And I know a riddle about a cow. Why is it 
that a brown cow eats green grass that makes 
white milk and turns into yellow butter?" 

"That isn't a riddle — it's just something 
funny. And, besides, you've said that before," 
said Rose. 



THE SMOKING CHIMNEY 9 

"Well, anyhow, can't I have a sugar 
cookie?" asked Laddie. "And we'll make be- 
lieve the steamboat has stopped, and we can 
pretend we're on a picnic." 

"All right," agreed Russ, as he gave the 
spinning wheel a few more turns. "I'll bank 
the fires — that means I'll turn 'em off so they 
won't get so hot — and we'll go ashore." 

"All ashore !" yelled Laddie. 

"Is they enough sugar cookies for all of 
us?" asked Mun Bun, as he and Margy arose 
from the low stools where they had been sit- 
ting. 

"Oh, yes, plenty," Russ answered. "I asked 
Norah to put a lot of 'em in a bag and I guess 
she did. Here, Rose, you can pass 'em around, 
and I'll tie the steamboat fast." 

"Do you have to tie it same as Uncle Fred 
tied his cow ponies?" asked Vi. 

"Pretty near the same," her biggest brother 
answered. "And after a while we'll " 

Russ stopped suddenly and looked at his 
sister Rose. She had just passed some of the 
cookies to Mun Bun and Margy, and was get- 
ting ready to hand one each to Laddie and Vi, 
when she saw something that made her point 



10 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

to the big brick chimney which passed through 
the roof in the middle of the attic. 

"Look! Look!" exclaimed Rose. 

"What's the matter?" asked Russ. 

"The chimney! It's smoking!" went on 
Rose. 

"That's what chimbleys is for," said Laddie. 
"I know a funny riddle about smoke in a chim- 
bley and " 

"But the smoke from the chimney shouldn't 
come out into the room or the attic," inter- 
rupted Rose. "I can smell it, and I can see it! 
Oh, Russ !" she cried. 

"Yes, you can see it and smell it!" agreed 
Russ. As he spoke quite a puff of thick smoke 
came into the attic. It seemed to spurt right 
out of the side of the chimney, at a place where 
some bricks were rather loose and had large 
cracks between them. 

"Oh, Russ !" cried Rose. "Maybe the house 
is on fire!" 



CHAPTER II 



THE CLIMBING MAN 



Almost as soon as she had spoken these 
words, Rose wished she had not. For looks of 
fear came over the faces of Mun Bun and 
Margy, and Laddie and Vi, though a little 
older, also acted as if frightened. And yet 
Rose had spoken what was in her mind. The 
smoke poured out into the attic through a hole 
in the chimney. It was getting thicker and 
more murky, and Mun Bun began to cough. 

"Is there a fire?" asked Violet. 

"Yes, I think so," answered Rose. And then 

it came to her mind that she must not frighten 

the smaller children, so she quickly added: 

"But I guess it's only a little fire. Maybe 

Norah is burning up papers in the stove and 

they smoke. I heard her tell mother there was 

a lot of trash to be burned since we came back 

from Uncle Fred's ranch." 

11 



12 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Well, she must be burnin' a awful lot !" ex- 
claimed Laddie, and he choked as he swallowed 
a mouthful of smoke. 

Just then a larger cloud of it seemed to pour 
out into the attic, and from outside the home 
of the six little Bunkers, and from the rooms 
below them, came shouts and exclamations. 

"Oh, Russ !" exclaimed Rose, looking at her 
older brother, "something is the matter, I'm 
sure !" 

"I guess there is," he agreed, as he ran to a 
window. "I'll let some of the smoke out and 
then " 

He suddenly ceased speaking as he looked 
to the street below. To the ears of the other 
children, playing in the attic, came a loud 
clatter and clang. 

"Is it the puffers ?" asked Mun Bun, meaning 
the fire apparatus. 

"Yes, the engines are all out in front of our 
house!" cried Russ. "We'd better get down 
out of here. It's too far to jump !" 

"Don't dare jump !" screamed Rose. "Come 
on, Russ. You take Vi and Laddie and I'll 
look after Mun Bun and Margy." And she 
caught the two youngest children by their 



THE CLIMBING MAN 13 

hands and Russ did the same for the twins, Vi 
and Laddie. 

The smoke continued to grow thicker in the 
attic, and the cloud of it was now so dense that 
the chimney itself, whence the choking fumes 
came, could scarcely be seen. 

But under the leadership of Russ and Rose 
the four smaller children were being led to 
safety, and while this is going on I shall take 
the chance to tell some of my new readers 
something of the other books in this series, as 
well as about the six boys and girls who are to 
have a part in this story. 

Six was the number of the little Bunkers. 
That is, there was an even half dozen of them. 
Russ, aged nine years, was a great whistler 
and a lad who was often engaged in making 
toys, or building something, like make-believe 
steamboats or engines, to amuse his smaller 
brothers and sisters. 

Next to Russ was Rose, a year younger. 
As I have told you, she was a great help to 
her mother — a girl A cheerful, sunny disposi- 
tion, always making the best of everything. 

Next came Violet and Laddie. They each 
had curly hair and gray eyes, and were twins. 



14 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN DEN'S 

As you have noticed Vi was a great one for 
asking questions. It did not seem to matter 
to her what she asked questions about, nor how 
many, as long as she could keep some one busy 
answering them, or trying to answer. For not 
always could answers be found to Vi's ques- 
tions. Laddie, her twin brother, had a differ- 
ent curious habit. He was always asking 
riddles — at least he called them riddles, though 
some of them were as funny as Vi's questions. 

Last of all in the half dozen little Bunkers 
were Margy and Mun Bun. Margy's real 
name was Margaret, and the complete name of 
her small brother was Munroe Ford Bunker. 

Now that we have finished with the children 
we will start on the grown-ups of the family. 
Daddy Bunker's name was Charles, and he was 
in the real estate business in Pineville, Penn- 
sylvania. Mother Bunker's name was Amy, 
and before her marriage she was Miss Amy 
Bell. 

Then there was Norah O'Grady, the good- 
natured cook, and Jerry Simms, an old soldier 
who could tell fine stories about the time he 
fought in battle. Of course Norah and Jerry 
were not real Bunkers — that is, they were not 



THE CLIMBING MAN 15 

members of the family. But they had been in 
the home of our friends so long that the chil- 
dren began to think of these two kind servants 
as almost some of their own relatives. 

There were enough other relatives in the 
Bunker family, too. There was Grandma Bell, 
and the first book of this series is named "Six 
Little Bunkers at Grandma Bell's." After 
some glorious days at their grandmother's, the 
six little Bunkers went to Aunt Jo's, next to 
Cousin Tom's, after that to Grandpa Ford's, 
and then they went out West to a ranch. The 
story of their trip there, and what they did, 
is set down in the volume just before this one. 
It is called "Six Little Bunkers at Uncle 
Fred's," and Russ, Rose, and the others had 
not long returned from this enjoyable visit 
before they began a new series of adventures. 

The first of them I have already started to 
relate to you. It is about the fire, or at least 
the smoke, in the attic where they had been 
playing steamboat. 

"Russ!" exclaimed Rose, as she made her 
way through the smoke-filled room to the 
stairs, leading Mun Bun and Margy, while her 
oldest brother followed with Vi and Laddie, 



16 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"oh, Russ!" went on Rose, "y° u didn't start 
any fire in the make-believe boiler of the pre- 
tend steamboat, did you?" 

"Course — course not!" answered Russ, 
somewhat choking over the words, for some 
smoke got down his throat. "I never play with 
matches !" 

"Well, there's a fire somewhere!" declared 
Rose. 

"Maybe it's across the street," suggested 
Russ, "and the smoke just blew in the win- 
dows." But, even as he spoke, he looked over 
his shoulder and saw smoke pouring out of a 
place in the attic chimney where some bricks 
were broken loose and large cracks showed. 

"It's our chimney that's on fire, all right," 
said Russ to himself. "It's the first fire we 
ever had. I want to see the engines work and 
squirt water !" 

Down the attic stairs to the second floor 
went the six little Bunkers. There was very 
little smoke on the second floor, and as Russ 
and Rose were leading the four smaller ones 
toward the head of the stairs they were met by 
their mother and Norah rushing up, each of 
them out of breath and much excited. 



THE CLIMBING MAN 17 

"Oh, children! are you all right?" gasped 
Mrs. Bunker. "I have been so frightened. 
You're all right, aren't you? Not hurt or 
burned?" 

"We're all right, Mother!" Russ hastened 
to say. 

"Is our house on fire?" demanded Vi. Even 
in this excitement she could not- forget to ask 
a question. 

"Yes, darlin', the house is burnin'!" cried 
Norah. "Oh, sorrow the day I should live to 
see this. Oh, come to Norah, little darlin's!" 
and she tried to gather in her arms all four of 
the smallest children at once. 

"Don't frighten them !" called Mrs. Bunker, 
as she caught up Mun Bun in one arm, and 
Margy in the other. "The house isn't exactly 
on fire, children. It's just the chimney. A lot 
of soot got in while we were at Uncle Fred's, 
and it is the soot which is now burning." 

"But I heard a fireman say if the chimney 
fire wasn't soon put out it might set the house 
afire!" declared Norah, as all of them started 
down the front stairs. 

There was plenty of excitement now in the 
home of the six little Bunkers. Outside could 



18 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

be heard the whistle of a fire engine and the 
shouts of many men and boys. 

Russ, Rose, the other four children and 
Mrs. Bunker and Norah safely reached the 
first floor. There was no smoke at all here, 
as yet. As Russ hurried out on the porch he 
saw Jerry Simms running around holding the 
garden hose, out of the nozzle of which trickled 
a little stream of water. 

"Let me get at it !" cried the old soldier, who 
acted as gardener and furnace man by turns. 
"Let me get at the blaze ! I'll put the fire out 
if I can see it !" 

"You won't put much of a blaze out with 
that stream!" exclaimed a fireman in a rubber 
coat, as he hurried up the steps. "There isn't 
enough force to it." 

"Oh, I forgot to turn the water on full!" 
said Jerry Simms. "Wait a minute. I'll go 
turn it on full force, and then I'll put out the 
blaze," he said, putting the hose down on the 
porch and hurrying to the faucet which came 
through the foundation wall of the house. 

"That won't be any good for this fire, no 
matter how much force of water you have," 
cried the fireman. "The fire's down inside the 



THE CLIMBING MAN 19 

chimney, and we can't get at it until we climb 
up on the roof and stick a hose down the flue." 

"Is that what you are going to do?" asked 
Mrs. Bunker, who was not frightened, now 
that she knew her children were safe. 

"Yes, we want to get up on the roof so v/e 
can turn a hose down the chimney," the fire- 
man answered. "But we can't get up!" 

"Why not?" asked Russ, who stood near 
his mother on the porch, while the yard and 
the street around the house were rapidly fill- 
ing with people. 

"Our ladder isn't long enough," the fireman 
answered. "We had a long ladder, but it is 
broken, and without it we can't get up on the 
roof to pull up a hose and squirt water down 
the chimney." 

"But something must be done!" cried Mrs. 
Bunker. "The more the chimney fire burns, 
the hotter it will get, and it may set the whole 
house ablaze before long. Something must be 
done!" 

"Yes'm," agreed the fireman. "We're try- 
ing to do something. We got two engines 
pumping, and the men are on the ground try- 
ing to shoot the water up in the air and let 



20 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

some of it fall down the chimney hole. But 
they aren't having very good luck. I came to 
see if you had a long ladder." 

"Oh, a long ladder!" cried the mother of 
the six little Bunkers. "You had better ask 
Jerry Simms." 

"If he's the old man running around with 
the garden hose, it won't do much good to ask 
him," said the fireman with a smile. "He is so 
excited he hardly knows what he is doing." 

"Here comes Jerry now ; ask him," suggested 
Mrs. Bunker again, while Norah stood hold- 
ing to Mun Bun, Laddie, Margy and Violet — 
at least she was trying to hold them, though, 
every now and again, one of the children would 
break away and run to the front fence to watch 
the puffing engines. 

"Have you a long ladder — one that will 
reach to the roof — so we can climb up and pull 
a hose to the chimney top ?" asked the fireman, 
while the wind blew a swirl of black smoke 
around those on the porch. 

"A long ladder? Oh, I don't know — I — oh, 
good land! I turned the water off instead of 
on," cried Jerry, as he looked at the nozzle of 
the garden hose which he had laid down on 



THE CLIMBING MAN 21 

the porch. Not even a trickle was coming 
from it now. 

"Never mind that ! Get us a ladder !" cried 
the fireman. "Ours is broken, and if we don't 
douse this chimney pretty soon there'll be a bad 
blaze." 

"What is it you want ?" cried a man, making 
his way to the stoop through a crowd of people 
in the yard around the Bunker house. 
"What's the trouble? Why don't somebody 
get on the roof with a hose?" 

"Because we have no ladder long enough 
to reach there!" the fireman answered. "If 
only somebody could climb up he might " 

"Get me a piece of clothesline, and I'll climb 
up!" cried the man, taking off his coat. And 
as Mrs. Bunker turned to look more closely at 
him she gave a cry of surprise. 

"Oh, Captain Ben !" exclaimed Mrs. Bunker. 



CHAPTER III 



THE INVITATION 



m 



c Oh, ho! So you know me then, do you?" 
cried the man who had so suddenly and unex- 
pectedly appeared and offered to climb to the 
roof of the house where the chimney was on 
fire. 

"Yes, I know you by your picture," an- 
swered Mrs. Bunker. "But I never expected 
to see you so soon. Where did you come 
from?" 

"No time to talk now — excuse me — got to 
hustle as I did in the army in France !" was the 
answer. "I'll tell you all about it later. Now, 
if you'll get me a clothesline, I'll climb to the 
roof and put out the chimney fire!" 

"You can't put out a fire with a clothesline, 
can you?" asked Violet. "Don't you need a 
hose?" 

"Yes, little girl. I don't know what your 



THE INVITATION 23 

name is, but I'll find out later," said the man 
who had been called "Captain Ben" by Mrs. 
Bunker. "What I want the clothesline for is 
to carry it up to the roof with me. I can't take 
a hose, but I can tie the rope around my waist, 
climb up, and then the fireman can tie the end 
of the hose to the line. Then I can haul up 
the hose, the fireman can turn on the water, I'll 
squirt the water down the blazing chimney, 
and the fire will soon be out." 

"Oh!" exclaimed Vi. She very seldom had 
such a long answer given to any of the ques- 
tions she asked. "Oh," she said again. 

"Where's a clothesline?" cried Captain Ben. 

"I'll get you one," offered Norah, and she 
rushed around to the side yard, coming back 
in a few seconds with a long, trailing length 
of line she had cut from the posts. Meanwhile 
more and more black smoke was coming from 
the chimney, and some was drifting out of the 
attic window Russ had opened. 

"Good! Thank you!" exclaimed Captain 
Ben. 

"Do you think the house is catching fire?" 
asked Mrs. Bunker of the chief of the depart- 
ment, who came up on the porch just then. 



24 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Not yet; but it may soon," he answered. 
"What are we going to do ?" he went on. "We 
have no ladder to get to the roof, and " 

"This gentlemen is going to climb up to the 
roof for us," interrupted the fireman who had 
been talking to Mrs. Bunker. He pointed to 
Captain Ben, who was making some loops in 
the clothesline that Norah had brought him. 

"How's he going to get to the top of the 
high roof of this house when we can't get up 
ourselves without long ladders ?" asked the fire 
chief. "And our long ladder is broken. How 
are you going to get up, if I may ask ?" he in- 
quired of Captain Ben. 

"You don't need to ask one of Uncle Sam's 
soldier-sailors a question like that," was the 
answer. "I was one of the marines in the late 
war, and doing hard things is just what the 
marines like. I'll show you how I'm going to 
get up to the roof without a ladder. Be ready 
to bend on the hose when I give the word." 

"We'll be all ready," the fire chief promised. 
"I'm ashamed of our department for not being 
able to put out a simple chimney fire before 
this, but I didn't know our long ladder was 
broken. That makes all the trouble." 



THE INVITATION 25 

"The trouble will soon be over when I get 
up there!" declared the young soldier with a 
look at Russ, Rose, and the other little Bunk- 
ers. They all wondered who he was and how 
it was their mother knew him from having 
seen his picture. Not even Russ., the oldest, 
remembered any relative named Captain Ben. 

"Now we're all ready!" exclaimed the for- 
mer marine, as he had called himself. "We'll 
have this fire out in no time !" 

He seemed to know just what to do, and 
even the fire chief was waiting for Captain 
Ben. With the clothesline tied around his 
shoulders in a knot that could quickly be loosed, 
the stranger ran to a large copper rain pipe 
fastened to the side of the house. Near the 
rain pipe, or leader, as it is called, was 1 also a 
lightning rod, and there was a strong ivy vine 
growing and climbing up a wire trellis which 
was nailed on the wall of the house. 

"Up I go!" cried Captain Ben, and in an- 
other moment he was going up the side of the 
house, climbing hand over hand by means of 
the lightning rod, the copper leader, and the 
vine. None of these, alone, would have been 
strong enough to have held him, but by using 



26 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

all three together the soldier-sailor managed 
to get up to the roof. 

The roof of the Bunker house, where the 
blazing chimney came through, was a peaked 
one, though it was not of a very sleep slant. 
Russ wondered how Captain Ben was going 
to climb this peak, which was like a hill, only 
covered with shingles. But the sailor had on 
low shoes with rubber soles, and these did not 
let him slip. Stooping down, and helping him- 
self along with his hands when he reached the 
roof, Captain Ben made his way close to the 
chimney. 

From it now could be seen coming flames and 
sparks as well as smoke, and it began to look 
as though the whole house might soon be 
ablaze. 

"Fasten on the hose!" suddenly called Cap- 
tain Ben. 

On the ground below firemen made fast to 
the lower end of the clothesline the length of 
hose from which the water had been turned 
off. 

"If their hose isn't enough I'll let 'em have 
mine," said Jerry Simms, who now had the 
water turned full on in the garden line. And 



THE INVITATION 27 

he was so excited that, before he knew it, he 
had sent a shower of spray up on the porch. 

"Mind what you're doing, Jerry!" called 
Norah. "Be easy now !" 

"Oh, excuse me!" begged the old soldier. 
"I'm so excited I don't know at all what I'm 
doing!" 

He turned the hose aside, but this time he 
sprayed the fire chief and one of his men. But 
as they had on rubber coats and rubber boots, 
as well as thick helmets, they did not mind the 
water in the least and only laughed. 

By this time other firemen had fastened an 
empty line of hose to the end of the clothes- 
line. The other end of the rope was held by 
Captain Ben on the roof of the Bunker home, 
and now he began hauling up. 

"I have it!" he cried as he reached the noz- 
zle, and took off the clothesline. "Wait until 
I get close to the chimney, and then turn on 
the water." 

"All right!" the chief answered. 

Captain Ben, in his rubber-soled shoes that 
did not slip on the shingle roof, crawled over 
until he was close to the blazing chimney. It 
was low enough for him to point the hose right 



28 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

down in it, and when he had done this he 
shouted : 

"Turn on the water!" 

"Turn on the water !" echoed the chief. The 
hose, that was almost like a big snake trying 
to climb up the side of the house of the six 
little Bunkers, straightened out and twisted 
as the water filled it, being pumped in by one 
of the engines. 

Captain Ben directed the stream down the 
blazing chimney. There were puffs of steam, 
the white clouds of which mingled with the 
black smoke of the chimney, and the water 
poured down into the kitchen, spurting out of 
the range where the fire had been built. The 
water put out the fire in the stove, as well as 
the fire in the chimney, and made muddy pud- 
dles on Norah's kitchen floor. But this could 
not be helped. It was better to have a little 
water in the house than a lot of fire. 

"How are you making out?" the chief 
called up to Captain Ben on the Koof. 

"Fine!" was the answer. "The fire is al- 
most out!" 

And it was all out a minute or two later. 
Then the water was shut off, so that the house 



THE INVITATION 29 

would not be flooded, and Captain Ben dropped 
the hose from the roof down to the ground. 

"Is he going to jump down, Mother ?" asked 
Vi, who, with the others of the family, stood 
in the side yard, where they could all get a 
view of the roof on which stood Captain Ben. 

"No, indeed, he will not jump down!" said 
Mrs. Bunker. 

"I guess he'll climb down the same way he 
went up — like a monkey," said Laddie. "He's 
a good climber. Some day I'm going to climb 
up to the roof like Captain Ben did. But who 
is he, Mother? Is he what Uncle Fred is to 
us?" 

"Not exactly," was the answer. "I'll tell 
you about Captain Ben a little later when there 
isn't so much excitement. He is coming down 
now, and I must thank him for what he 
did." 

"I want to thank him, too," said the fire 
chief. "I'd never have thought of getting to 
the roof that way. But it's a good thing he 
did, or that chimney might be burning yet." 

Captain Ben made his way down the vine, 
the lightning rod, and the copper pipe as he 
had gone up. Several in the crowd gathered 



30 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

about him, and many told him he had done 
just the right thing. But Captain Ben paid 
little attention to these strangers. He made 
his way to where Mrs. Bunker stood with the 
six little Bunkers gathered about her. 

"I didn't expect my visit would have so much 
excitement connected with it," he said, with a 
smile, as he put on his coat. "But I arrived 
just about the same time as did the engines. I 
saw what the trouble was, and decided that 
was the best way to help." 

"I am glad you did," remarked Mrs. Bunker. 
"Though I have not seen you for several years, 
I knew you at once by your picture, which I 
recently saw in the paper. You evidently got 
safely back from the war." 

"Yes, I got nothing worse than a few 
scratches. But, unless I am much mistaken, 
here comes Mr. Bunker." 

"Oh, here's Daddy!" cried Rose, as a very 
much excited man rushed up the front walk, 
pushing his way in among the throng that had 
been attracted by the alarm of fire. 

"Are you all right? Is anyone hurt? How 
did it happen? Is the fire out?" asked Daddy 
Bunker, and, really, be asked almost as many 



THE INVITATION 31 

questions as Violet would have done had she 
had the chance. 

"Yes, we are all safe !" answered Mrs. Bun- 
ker. "No one hurt and very little damage 
done. But I have a surprise for you ! Look !" 
and she stepped from in front of the marine 
who had put out the blazing chimney. 

"Captain Ben!" cried Daddy Bunker. 
"Where in the world did you come from ?" 

"Just back from the war," was the answer, 
as Captain Ben shook hands with Daddy Bun- 
ker. "I'm going to take a long rest, and I 
came to bring an invitation to you — to you 
and the six little Bunkers," he went on, looking 
from one of the children to the other. 

"An invitation!" cried Rose. 

"Yes, and I do hope you will accept," said 
Captain Ben. "The summer is not quite over," 
he went on to Mr. and Mrs. Bunker, "and I'm 
sure these youngsters will be all the better for 
some more vacation. Let's go in, away from 
the crowd, and I'll explain about my invita- 
tion." 

And each and every one of the six little 
Bunkers wondered what was going to happen. 



CHAPTER IV 



ANOTHER VACATION 



Captain Ben, as both Daddy and Mother 
Bunker had called him, caught up in his arms 
Mun Bun and Margy. He was so big and 
strong that the children seemed feathers to 
him, and he easily held them both on one arm. 
Then he reached down his other hand and took 
the two hands of Laddie and Vi in his. 

"Now come on!" cried Captain Ben, laugh- 
ing. "I have four of the half dozen little 
Bunkers, and the other two can hang on my coat 
tails. Let's go in and have a nice talk and 
visit." 

"Yes! Yes!" cried Mun Bun and Margy 
and Laddie and Violet. 

"Where are we going and what are you 
going to tell us?" asked Vi, not forgetting, 
even in all the excitement about the fire, to 

32 



ANOTHER VACATION 33 

ask her usual questions. "What are we going 
to do?" 

"Oh, you'll find plenty to do — all six of you 
— if you come to my seashore place !" laughed 
Captain Ben. "That's what I came especially 
to talk about," he went on to Daddy and 
Mother Bunker. "I want to get out of my 
mind all thoughts of the great war, and if I 
can have this happy bunch of children around 
me it will be the best thing in the world. You'll 
let them come, and you'll come with them, 
won't you?" he asked, as he stood on the door 
sill. 

"We just got back from Uncle Fred's !" an- 
swered Mr. Bunker. "I don't see how we can 
give the children another vacation so soon 
after they have just finished one. But I do 
want to have you pay us a long visit, Captain 
Ben. And we'll go in, as you say, and talk. 
But I must first make sure that the fire is out. 
Some one telephoned to me at the office that 
my house was burning up. I ran out, hailed 
the first man I saw in an auto, and he brought 
me here flying. I can't tell you how glad I 
was when I saw the house still standing." 

"It isn't really harmed at all," said Captain 



34 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Ben. "The chimney is used to having a fire in 
it, and all that happened in the kitchen is that 
a little water got spilled. Don't worry about 
the fire any more. Let's go in and talk. I 
want to get down to my place at the shore, and 
take 3^ou there with me." 

Indeed there was no more danger from the 
fire. The crowd, seeing there was no further 
excitement, began to move away. The fire- 
men coiled up their hose, and the engines and 
carts rumbled away. Norah shook her head 
dubiously as she saw the sloppy kitchen that 
she always kept so clean and bright, but Jerry 
Simms consoled her. 

"I'll help you mop it up, Norah !" he kindly 
offered. "Water is easily gotten rid of — much 
more easily than fire. I'll help you clean up." 

Norah was very thankful for this, and soon 
she and Jerry were busy setting things to 
rights in the kitchen while Daddy and Mother 
Bunker, with the children and Captain Ben, 
went into the sitting room. There was a smell 
of smoke all over, but no one minded this. 
Norah felt very bad, thinking that she might 
be blamed for the fire, since the chimney caught 
from the blaze she started in the kitchen range. 



ANOTHER VACATION 35 

Mrs. Bunker realized this, and so she said: 

"Don't worry, Norah. It would have hap- 
pened to anyone. If I had started the fire the 
chimney would have caught just the same as 
it did when you started it." 

"Well, I'm glad to hear you say that," re- 
marked Norah, as she and Jerry continued the 
cleaning-up work. 

The excitement caused by the fire was over 
now, and a little later the Bunker family, in- 
cluding the half dozen children of course, and 
Captain Ben were sitting down and talking like 
old friends. In fact, they were all old friends 
except the new man who had climbed up on the 
roof to put out the fire. 

"What makes you call him Captain Ben?" 
asked Vi, as she looked up at the stranger. 

"Because he is Captain Ben," answered Mrs. 
Bunker. "And he is one of our relations, chil- 
dren!" 

"My, what a lot of relations we have!" ex- 
claimed Laddie. And when they all laughed 
he made haste to add : "But I like 'em all and 
I like you." He said this as he stood near the 
knees of Captain Ben. 

"I'm glad you do," said the sailor-soldier. 



36 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"And I hope we shall all become better ac- 
quainted and have good times together." 

"Will you tell us about the war?" asked 
Rose. "Jerry Simms tells us lots of funny 
stories about the war he was in." 

"This was a different war," said Captain 
Ben, "and I may be able to think of something 
funny about it. I'll try, anyhow. But now 
let's talk about going away. I want to get as 
far from the war as I can, and I think my place 
at the seashore will take my mind off it — espe- 
cially if I can have you children with me." 

"I'll have to see about that," said Daddy 
Bunker, with a smile. "But at least we can 
talk about it." 

So they talked, and Mother Bunker told the 
children that Captain Ben was a distant rela- 
tive of hers, whom she had not seen for a long 
time. But his picture had been printed in the 
paper as one of the heroes of the war, and 
though Mrs. Bunker had not seen him for some 
years, she knew him the moment he rushed up 
on the porch to help in putting out the fire. 

"Is Captain Ben like Cousin Fred?" asked 
Russ, when the matter of relationship was be- 
ing talked about. 



ANOTHER VACATION 37 

"He is a sort of cousin," answered Mother 
Bunker, "but I think it will be better if we all 
call him Captain Ben." 

"I am most used to hearing that," said the 
soldier. "That is what I was in the marine 
corps — a captain. And though I am dis- 
charged now, many of my friends still call me 
captain." 

"I like a captain," said Rose. "I think it's 
ever so much nicer than a general or a major. 
They always sound like names of dogs; but a 
captain is nice." 

"I am glad you think so!" laughed Captain 
Ben, and so he was called that by the children. 

"But what's your last name?" asked Vi. 
You might have known she would find some 
question to ask, and she did. 

"My last name is Barsey," was the answer 
of Captain Ben. "But I don't imagine you 
children will have much use for it. Just say 
Captain Ben and I'll know who you mean." 

There was more talk and laughter, and the 
six little Bunkers began to feel very well ac- 
quainted with Captain Ben. At dinner he told 
something of how he had enlisted and fought 
in the war, but he did not dwell much on this, 



38 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

for he guessed, rightly, that Mr. and Mrs. 
Bunker did not want to have the children think 
too much about the terrible fighting that had 
taken place in France. 

"And so, after I was discharged and was 
free to leave the army, I decided to take a long 
rest," said Captain Ben. "As you know, 
Cousin Amy," he said to Mrs. Bunker, "I have 
a very nice bungalow down on the Jersey coast 
at Grand View. It is all ready for me to go 
down there and spend the rest of the summer, 
and I want you all to come with me." 

"Is there any more summer?" asked Laddie. 
"I thought we spent all the summer at Uncle 
Fred's." 

"There is still some summer left," answered 
Captain Ben. 

"That sounds funny!" laughed Laddie. 
"Some summer! Maybe I could make up a 
riddle about it." 

"Do you like riddles?" asked Captain Ben. 

"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Vi's twin brother. 
"Do you know any?" 

"I might think of one," the young marine 
replied. "Let me see. Can you tell me when 
a door is like a little mouse?" 



ANOTHER VACATION 39 

"A door like a little mouse !" exclaimed Rose. 
"I never heard of such a thing. A door can't 
be like a mouse because it's too big — I mean 
the door is." 

"Oh, yes it can!" said Laddie, quickly. 
"Things in riddles can be like anything they 
want to. Don't tell me, Captain Ben!" he 
begged. "Let me see if I can guess it myself!" 

"It isn't very hard," the soldier-sailor said. 
"I just happened to think of it, and perhaps 
you won't call it a riddle at all. But when is 
a door like a mouse?" 

"Is it when it sticks fast and won't open?" 
asked Rose. 

"A mouse can't open and shut!" objected 
Russ. 

"It can open and shut its mouth, and a door 
can open and shut," said Laddie, who seemed 
to know more about riddles than any of his 
brothers or sisters. 

"Is that the answer?" inquired Russ, while 
Mun Bun and Margy stood silently looking at 
Captain Ben. 

"No, that isn't the answer," replied the sol- 
dier from France. "I guess I'll tell you, for 
you've had enough excitement to-day. A door 



40 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

is like a mouse when it squeaks. The door's 
hinges squeak, you know, and the little mouse 
squeaks when he finds a piece of cheese." 

"That's a good riddle!" declared Laddie. 
"I'm going to remember that, and ask Jerry 
Simms and Norah." 

A little later supper was served, and at the 
table Captain Ben told more about his bun- 
galow at Grand View. 

"You have been to the seashore," he said to 
the six little Bunkers, "so there is no need to 
tell you how nice the ocean and the beach is to 
rest near. But Grand View is especially nice, 
because my bungalow is up on a high bluff 
and you can look away off across the water to 
a place called Sandy Hook." 

"Do they catch fishes on Sandy Hook?" 
asked Rose, with a laugh. 

"No, not exactly," answered Captain Ben. 
"Sandy Hook is a place " 

"We know, thank you," said Russ. "We 
passed near Sandy Hook when we went to At- 
lantic Highlands on our way to Cousin Tom's 
at Seaview." 

"How did you like the seashore?" asked 
Captain Ben. 



ANOTHER VACATION 41 

"Oh, we love it!" cried Rose, and all the 
other Bunkers echoed this. "Of course it was 
nice at Uncle Fred's ranch out West," Rose 
went on. "But the seashore is so nice and 
cool." 

"Then I'll take you all there for another 
vacation !" said Captain Ben. "You don't need 
to unpack any more of your things," he went 
on to Daddy and Mother Bunker. "Just leave 
them as they are, load them in my auto, and 
we'll all go to my seaside bungalow at Grand 
View." 

"Has you got a big auto?" asked Mun Bun, 
speaking for the first time in nearly half an 
hour. 

"Yes, I have a great big machine," said Cap- 
tain Ben. "I left it at a garage in town while 
I looked you folks up, as I was not sure where 
you lived. And you can guess how surprised 
I was to see a crowd of people in front of the 
house, to which the postman directed me, and 
to see fire and smoke coming out of the chim- 
ney." 

"We were surprised, too," said Russ, as he 
started out on the porch to bring in the even- 
ing paper the boy had just tossed up. "We 



43 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

were playing steamboat in the attic, and a lot 
of smoke came out and " 

"Don't talk any more about it," begged 
Mother Bunker. "I don't want it to get on 
your minds, or you may not sleep. I shall 
never forget how frightened I was." 

"All the more reason for the whole family 
coming and spending the rest of the season 
with me," urged Captain Ben. "It is still late 
summer, and the fall is really the best part of 
the year to be at the shore. You'll come, 
won't you?" he asked Mr. Bunker. 

The father of the six little Bunkers shook 
his head. 

"It is too near school time," he said. "The 
new term will open next week. That, really, is 
what made us come back from the ranch. I 
don't want the children, especially the two older 
ones, to miss any of their classes. No, Cap- 
tain Ben, I am sure we're all much obliged to 
you for your kind invitation, but it will be im- 
possible for us to go on account of school." 

"Oh, dear !" sighed Rose, and looks of disap- 
pointment came over the faces of the other 
children when they heard this. 

"Nonsense !" exclaimed Captain Ben. "Los- 



ANOTHER VACATION 43 

ing a week or so of school will not matter. I 
have just set my heart on the six little Bunkers 
coming to my seashore bungalow." 

Again Daddy Bunker shook his head. But, 
as the looks of sorrow deepened on the faces 
of Rose and the others, Russ came running in 
off the porch with the evening paper. He gen- 
erally opened it and read the headings before 
delivering it to his father or mother. 

"Oh, look! Look at this!" cried Russ as, 
holding the opened paper out in front of him, 
he hastened in where the others were. "I 
guess we can go to Captain Ben's after all! 
Look what's in the paper !" 



CHAPTER V 

THE MISSING WATCH 

"What's the matter? Oh, let me see!" 
begged Rose, as Russ came in with a flutter- 
ing paper. "Are we going to have another 
school play?" 

There had been one the previous winter, and 
Rose and Russ had taken part in it. Their pic- 
tures, as well as those of other young per- 
formers, were in the newspaper, and Russ and 
Rose were quite proud of this. 

"No, it isn't another school play," Russ an- 
swered. "But there was an accident at our 
school, and now it can't open when it was going 
to. Oh, I'm glad! Now we don't have to go 
back to school and we can go to Captain Ben's 
bungalow at Grand View !" 

"Let me see," requested Mr. Bunker, reach- 
ing out one hand for the paper, while with the 

44 



THE MISSING WATCH 45 

other he sought for his glasses in his vest 
pocket. 

"Yes, that's right," he said, after he had 
read the item on the front page, the sight of 
which had so excited Russ. "There has been 
an accident at Montgomery school, where our 
children go." 

"An accident!" exclaimed Mother Bunker. 
"Was any one hurt?" 

"No, it wasn't that sort of accident," her 
husband answered. "It was just a break in 
the water pipes and the boiler that heats the 
school in cold weather. Of course they will 
not need heat right away, but the boiler will 
have to be fixed, and it will take over a month. 
This article in the paper says that the opening 
of Montgomery school will be postponed for a 
month. That means our six little Bunkers will 
not have to go back to their classes as soon as 
we thought they would," he added. 

"All the better for me !" cried Captain Ben. 
"Now I can take you all to Grand View in my 
auto. You won't have any objections now, will 
you?" he asked Mr. Bunker. 

"No," answered the father of Russ and the 
other five children, "I don't see how I can ob- 



46 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S' 

ject. As I told you, we came back from the 
West mainly on account of school, and if we 
had known in time that the Montgomery build- 
ing was not to open we would have stayed at 
Uncle Fred's ranch." 

"I'm glad you didn't," laughed Captain Ben. 
"For now I can have you visit me. I'll go right 
uptown and get my automobile, as I see you 
have a garage here. Then we'll all be ready 
to start for the seashore in the morning." 

"Oh, my goodness! we can't go so soon as 
that" cried Mrs. Bunker. 

"Why not?" asked the captain. 

"I have to look over the children's clothes 
and see what they need for this second, unex- 
pected vacation. We couldn't possibly get 
ready for to-morrow." 

"Well, the next day, then," insisted Captain 
Ben. "I'll go and get my auto and have it all 
ready." 

"No, we can't go the next day, either," Mrs. 
Bunker answered with a laugh. "Why are 
you in such a hurry?" 

"I learned that in the army, I guess," re- 
marked the soldier. "But how soon can you 
go?" 



THE MISSING WATCH 47 

"In about a week, I think," was the answer, 
and with that Captain Ben must needs be con- 
tent. 

He arose to go after his automobile, which 
he had left in a public garage uptown, and Rose 
and Russ obtained permission to go with him 
and ride back. The other children also wanted 
to go, but it was a little too far for their short 
legs. 

"Oh, say, this is a dandy big car !" exclaimed 
Russ, as he and his sister climbed into it for 
the ride back home. 

"Glad you like it," said Captain Ben. "We'll 
need all the room there is to take six little 
Bunkers and all their baggage to the shore for 
a second vacation." 

The next few days were busy ones in the 
Bunker home. Every one was so occupied, 
helping to unpack, pack and get ready, that 
Laddie had no time to ask Norah or Jerry 
Simms about the riddle of the mouse and the 
squeaking door. But he did not forget it, and 
he thought he might find some one at Captain 
Ben's place at the shore whom he might puzzle 
with the riddle. 

The damage done by the chimney fire was 



48 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

soon cleared away and the chimney repaired, 
and the day after the newspaper contained an 
account of the happening. It interested the six 
little Bunkers almost as much as did the ac- 
count of the accident to the Montgomery 
school. 

On making some inquiries, Mr. Bunker 
found that what the paper had stated about 
the needed repairs at the school was true. No 
classes could start for more than a month after 
the date set for the regular opening of the 
other schools, and therefore the children could 
remain away without getting any black marks. 
There was no room for the pupils of Mont- 
gomery school in any of the other schools of 
Pineville. 

As I have said, these were busy days at the 
Bunker home during the visit of Captain Ben, 
for he stayed at the Bunker residence until it 
was time to go to the seashore. Captain Ben 
helped pack, too, and he seemed to know just 
how to do it. 

"This was another thing I learned when I 
was a marine," he said, as he showed Mrs. 
Bunker how to get more into a trunk than she 
had ever supposed it would hold. 



THE MISSING WATCH 49 

Margy and Mun Bun, Laddie and Vi and 
Rose and Russ also helped pack, though, to tell 
you the truth, I do not believe that the four 
smallest children really did much helping. But 
they thought they did, and this gave them as 
much joy as if they had done it all themselves. 

"Time to stop and eat!" exclaimed Captain 
Ben one noon, when several valises and trunks 
had been filled in readiness for the trip next 
day. "It's twelve o'clock," and he looked at a 
watch he wore on his wrist. 

"Does your watch keep good time?" asked 
Violet. 

"Yes, it is a very good watch," was the an- 
swer. "It was given to me by a French soldier 
who was hurt in the great war. I think a great 
deal of this watch, and I would not want to 
lose it. The man who gave it to me was in 
great danger, and I was able to help him out 
of it. He gave me this wrist watch as a keep- 
sake. I prize it very much." 

Though Captain Ben did not say so, he had 
really saved the life of the French soldier, ven- 
turing out on the battlefield and bringing in 
the wounded man. 

The watch was an expensive gold one, set in 



50 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

a strong leather strap, which was buckled 
about Captain Ben's wrist. Wearing the 
watch there enabled the former soldier to see 
what time it was without stopping to fish in his 
pocket for his time piece. 

As the watch had indicated, it was noon — 
twelve o'clock — and soon the six little Bunkers 
were sitting down to the table. They talked 
over their plans as they ate the meal. 

Large as was Captain Ben's auto, it would 
hardly hold the eight Bunkers, himself and 
the baggage that first would be needed. So it 
was decided that Mother Bunker would go 
down to Grand View on the train, taking Mun 
Bun and Margy with her. That would leave 
Daddy Bunker, Captain Ben, Russ, Rose, Lad- 
die and Vi to come in the soldier's big car. 
They would have room enough then for several 
valises. 

The rest of the afternoon and part of the 
next morning was spent in packing, while Mrs. 
Bunker made arrangements for again shutting 
the house up, after having opened it on her 
return from the West. 

"This year has been the longest vacation 
the children ever had," she remarked. "Good- 



THE MISSING WATCH 51 

ness! it doesn't seem any time at all since we 
started for Uncle Fred's, and here we are 
starting off on another trip." 

"I hope you will like my place," said Cap- 
tain Ben, as he finished strapping a large 
valise. "I wish we might have started a little 
earlier to-day, but I think we shall get there 
before dark." 

"I think I shall be there ahead of you, going 
as I am in the train with Margy and Mun 
Bun," said Mrs. Bunker. 

"I am not so sure about that !" laughed Cap- 
tain Ben. "My auto can travel very fast when 
I get started. But what time does your train 
go? 

"At ten o'clock," answered the children's 
mother. "How much time have I?" 

Captain Ben thrust out his arm as he al- 
ways did when he wanted to look at his wrist 
watch, and, as he glanced down, an appearance 
of surprise came over his face. 

"Why, my watch is gone!" he exclaimed. 

"Gone?" echoed Mrs. Bunker. "Did you 
take it off and put it down somewhere?" 

"No, I haven't had it off to-day," was the 
answer. "I had it on just before I strapped 



53 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

that valise! It must have accidentally come 
off! I must find it! I wouldn't have that 
watch lost for anything!" 

He began looking about the room. 

"I'll call the children," offered Mrs. Bunker. 
"One of them may have seen it. Oh, Russ! 
Rose!" she called. "Come, children, and see 
if you can find Captain Ben's missing watch." 




MRS. BUNKER AND THE TWO SMALLER CHILDREN STARTED FOR 
THE RAILROAD STATION. 

Six Little Bunkers at Captain Ben's * a g e 55 



CHAPTER VI 

OFF TO GRAND VIEW 

The six little Bunkers, who had been scurry- 
ing around all over the house, helping, or at 
least thinking they were helping, to get ready 
for the trip, gathered in the big living room at 
the sound of their mother's voice. 

"What's the matter?" asked Vi, beginning 
her usual questioning. "Is the chimney on fire 
again?" 

"No," answered her mother. "But Captain 
Ben has lost his watch — the one the French sol- 
dier gave him. He thinks it became loose when 
he was helping pack the valises and trunks; 
so look around, children." 

So the search began, but it was without re- 
sult. Everything on the floor was lifted up, 
trunks and valises were moved aside, and even 
Norah and Jerry came in to help look. How- 

53 



54 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

ever, the watch could not be found, though the 
six little Bunkers aided all they could. 

"Can't we go to Captain Ben's if he doesn't 
find his watch?" asked Vi. 

"Oh, yes, that won't keep us from the trip," 
said the sailor-soldier. The marines are both 
soldiers and sailors, so either name fitted them. 
"But I would like to find my watch," Captain 
Ben added. 

"Oh, I guess I got it — I mean I guess I 
stepped on it !" suddenly exclaimed Laddie, as 
he trod on something that was under a piece 
of paper. 

There was an anxious moment, but when the 
paper was lifted up all that was under it was 
a tin whistle that Mun Bun had been playing 
with. 

"Oh, dear!" said Laddie. "I thought sure 
I had it!" 

The watch remained unfound, but the pack- 
ing went on. Soon it was time for Mrs. Bun- 
ker to start for the train with Margy and Mun 
Bun. They were to go on ahead, as the way 
to Grand View by the train was longer than 
by the automobile road. 

Captain Ben was to take Mrs. Bunker and 



OFF TO GRAND VIEW 55 

the two smaller children to the railroad station 
in his car, leaving Mr. Bunker to attend to the 
last details of the packing with Russ and Rose, 
Violet and Laddie. Of course, Jerry Simms 
and Norah also helped. 

"Good-bye, children! I'll see you at Grand 
View!" called Mother Bunker, waving her 
hand to her four children as she sat beside 
Mun Bun and Margy in the automobile. 

"Good-bye!" echoed Russ and the others. 
And the two smaller Bunkers waved their 
hands. They were delighted at the idea of a 
ride in the steam cars. 

In a little while Captain Ben came back 
from the station with his empty automobile. 
As he alighted to go into the house, to see that 
the others were ready for the trip, he thrust 
out his left arm and looked down at his 
wrist. 

"Oh, I forgot my watch was lost," he said 
with a grim laugh. "I have been so used to 
looking at the time that it comes natural to 
stick out my hand where I can get a good view 
of my wrist. Well, if my watch is gone — it's 
gone — that's all there is to it." 

"Maybe Norah will find it after we have 



56 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

left," suggested Rose. "Lots of times she 
finds things we lose." 

"I hope she does," echoed Captain Ben. 
"Well, never mind the watch now. Let's get 
ready to start. We must be off. It is getting 
late!" 

The last valise was strapped shut, the ex- 
pressman had taken the trunks that did not 
go as baggage, and now the four little Bunkers 
with their father and Captain Ben, went out 
on the porch, after saying good-bye to Norah 
and Jerry Simms. 

Into the captain's big car piled the four chil- 
dren. 

"It seems funny not to have mother and 
Margy and Mun Bun with us, doesn't it?" 
asked Rose, as she took her place with Russ, 
Vi and Laddie, her father and Captain Ben 
being in the front seat. 

"Yes, it does," agreed Russ. "But we'll be 
with them to-night again, won't we, Captain 
Ben?" he asked. 

"Oh, yes, we'll all be at my bungalow at 
Grand View this evening," said the sailor-sol- 
dier. "Your mother may get there first, but 
I have told her where to find the keys, so she 



OFF TO GRAND VIEW 57 

can get everything all ready if she gets there 
ahead of us." 

"Well, I think we're all ready to start," said 
Daddy Bunker at length. "Everything is all 
right, isn't it, Norah?" 

"Oh, yes," answered the cook. "But it's 
sorry I am to see you go away again so soon 
after coming home. You're taking two vaca- 
tions the same summer, children." 

"Yes, and it's lots of fun !" cried Russ. "I'm 
glad the boiler in the school got leaky. I 
didn't want to go back so soon, anyhow." 

Final good-byes were said, and then Cap- 
tain Ben started his automobile down the 
street, the four children looking back as long 
as they could see Norah and Jerry Simms and 
waving farewells to them. 

Out through the streets of Pineville they 
rode, Rose and Russ calling to various children 
of their acquaintance whom they met. 

"Did you ride in this kind of an auto in 
France?" asked Russ of Captain Ben. 

"Not very often," was the answer. "I had 
to walk most of the time, and I was glad I 
could. Lots of poor fellows were so crippled 
they couldn't walk." 



58 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Do you know any French riddles ?" Laddie 
wanted to know, as they turned out on a coun- 
try road. 

"French riddles?" repeated Captain Ben. 
"Do you mean you want me to tell you a riddle 
in the French language?" 

Laddie shook his curly head. 

"I don't know how to speak French," he 
said. "What I want is a French riddle that 
will be different from any riddle I know in 
English." 

"I'm sorry, but I can't think of any," replied 
Captain Ben Barsey. 

"Could you tell us a funny story about the 
war?" asked Russ. 

Captain Ben thought for a moment. 

"There wasn't very much chance to have 
fun when the fighting was going on," he an- 
swered, "but of course I didn't have to fight 
all the while. I remember once, being in a 
trench — that's like the big ditch over there," 
and he pointed to one at the side of the road 
along which the automobile was traveling at 
the time. 

"Did you sleep in the ditch?" asked Vi. 

"Yes," answered Captain Ben, "at times we 



OFF TO GRAND VIEW 59 

slept in the trench ditch, and very often we ate 
in them. I was going to tell you about a funny 
thing that happened to me when I was getting 
ready to eat my dinner in a trench one day. 

"We had been fighting all morning, but had 
stopped about noon, and then they brought us 
soldiers in the trench something to eat. I was 
very hungry and so were my friends. I got 
a piece of bread and some meat and made my- 
self a sandwich. I also had a tincup of coffee. 

"I laid the sandwich down on a stone for a 
moment to take a drink of coffee, and when 
next I reached out my hand for the bread and 
meat I felt it jump away." 

"Oh, was it alive?" asked Russ. 

"Well, I thought so, for a moment," an- 
swered the captain. "But when I looked, after 
getting over my first surprise, I saw that I had 
put my hand on a big, gray rat. He had come 
out of his hole in the trench and was eating my 
bread and meat. Of course he moved when I 
touched him." 

"I'm glad I wasn't there," said Rose. "I 
don't like rats !" 

"I wish I could just look at him — but that's 
all," said Russ. 



60 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Did you make him give you back your sand- 
wich ?" questioned Vi. 

"Hardly!" laughed Captain Ben. "I didn't 
want it after the rat had nibbled it. So I 
shooed him away, and managed to get some 
more bread and meat. But I'll never forget 
how funny it seemed when I thought I felt 
my sandwich moving under my hand." 

The children laughed at this story of the 
funny side of war, and by this time the auto- 
mobile was well away from Pineville and on 
the way to Grand View. 

"I think this is the nicest summer I ever 
knew," said Rose to Russ. "We are having 
two vacations." 

"It is lots of fun," he agreed. 

Laddie was saying little. He seemed very 
sober. 

"What's the matter?" Rose asked him. 

"I know a good riddle about an automobile, 
but I can't just think of it," said the little boy. 
"I want to ask Captain Ben a riddle, but I can't 
think of the right one." 

"Don't worry!" laughed the sailor-soldier. 
"I'll be with you the rest of the summer, and 
you can ask me all the riddles you think of." 



OFF TO GRAND VIEW 61 

"Oh, I can think of a lot !" declared Laddie. 
"But I have an extra good one about an auto, 
only I don't know what it is." 

As the automobile was passing through a 
little country village, Vi saw a candy store, 
where, also, soda water was sold. 

"Can't we stop here and get a drink?" she 
asked. "I'm thirsty !" 

"Yes, we can stop," her father said, and he 
was just asking Captain Ben to slow up at the 
store when a woman ran from it in great ex- 
citement, waving her hands and calling aloud : 

"Stop! Stop! Oh, wait a minute! Some- 
thing terrible has happened! Oh, come in! 
Come in !" 

And from the store, out of which the woman 
had rushed, came a loud hissing sound, while 
what seemed to be a lot of steam, or a spray 
of water, floated from the door behind her. 



CHAPTER VII 



THE STORM 



Captain Ben and Daddy Bunker, on the 
front seat of the automobile, looked in aston- 
ishment at the excited woman and at the white 
spray coming from her little store. 

Russ and Rose and Laddie and Violet, four 
of the six little Bunkers in the rear of the car, 
were also much surprised, wondering what had 
happened. 

"It must be a fire !" exclaimed Russ, remem- 
bering what had happened that day he and the 
others were playing* steamboat in the attic, 
when the chimney began to smoke in the wrong 
way. 

"What makes the fire?" questioned Vi. It 
was just like her to ask a question at this 
critical time. 

As for Laddie, he said nothing. But his 
eyes opened big and round, and perhaps he was 

62 



THE STORM 63 

trying to think up a riddle about the woman 
who had rushed from the store with a cloud 
of steam behind her. 

And this woman — the one who owned the 
candy store — was still waving her hands and 
crying excitedly to Captain Ben and Daddy 
Bunker. 

"Oh come in ! Please come in and see what 
the matter is !" she begged. 

By this time Captain Ben had stopped the 
automobile, and he was getting out, followed 
by Mr. Bunker. The latter turned to Russ, 
Rose, Vi and Laddie and said : 

"Now you little Bunkers stay right in the 
car until we see what the matter is." 

"Can't I come and see, too?" Vi asked. 

"No, indeed! There may be danger!" her 
father said. 

Several persons from the village streets 
were now running toward the little candy and 
soda water store, and one boy began to 
shout : 

"Fire! Fire! Fire!" 

Quickly the woman turned to him. 

"Don't say that, Johnnie Mack!" she ex- 
claimed. "It isn't a fire at all, and I don't 



64 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

want a lot of engines and hose cai ts coming 
and mussing my place up !" 

"If it isn't a fire, then what is it?" asked 
Captain Ben. "Though it does look more like 
steam than smoke," he added, as he glanced 
at the white cloud still coming from the door- 
way of the store. 

"What is it? What's the matter? What 
happened?" were some of the questions asked 
of the woman. 

"I don't know what it is! I can't exactly 
tell, but it's something dreadful !" she said to 
Captain Ben, who, with Daddy Bunker, was 
about to enter the place. "All I know is that 
I was drawing a glass of soda water for a little 
girl when, all of a sudden, there was a big 
noise down in the cellar and then a lot of steam 
shot up into my store. I ran out, and the little 
girl ran out, and that's all I know about it." 

"I think I know what it is," said Captain 
Ben. "There isn't any fire and there's nothing 
serious. One of the soda water tanks in the 
cellar has sprung a leak and the water is shoot- 
ing out in a fine spray. It is just as if you left 
one of the faucets of your soda fountain open," 
he went on. 



THE STORM 65 

"Dear me ! All my nice soda water running 
to waste!" exclaimed the woman. "But I'm 
glad it isn't a fire." 

"Won't there be any soda water left for us 
to drink?" asked Vi. 

"There won't unless I shut it off pretty 
soon!" said Captain Ben. "How do you get 
down into your cellar?" he asked the candy 
store woman. "I'm afraid I can't see my way 
to go in through the front door," he added, as 
he looked at the cloud of fizzy spray which 
almost hid the little store from sight. 

"You can get down the outside cellar stairs," 
she answered. "I'll show you." 

While the crowd and the four little Bunkers 
looked on, Captain Ben went down the outside 
stairs to the cellar in which stood the tanks of 
soda water. The tanks were filled with a gas 
which makes the bubbles in soda water. 

The soldier-sailor knew just what to do, 
and in a little while the hissing sound stopped, 
the clouds of watery spray blew away, and it 
was possible to enter the store. 

Not much damage had been done, for, after 
all, it was only a fine spray of water that had 
floated about, and it was such a fine spray that 



66 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

it was almost like steam. The crowd swarmed 
about, looked in, and, seeing nothing to wonder 
at, passed on. 

"I'm ever so much obliged to you, sir," said 
the candy store woman to Captain Ben. "For 
a time I thought my place was going to be 
blown up. I'm glad it wasn't, for I have to 
make my living by my little store." 

"Have you any soda water left?" inquired 
Vi, who, with the other little Bunkers, had 
got out of the automobile when the crowd 
melted away. 

"Yes, I have some in bottles. I don't sup- 
pose I could draw any from the fountain, could 
I ?" she asked Captain Ben. 

"Not very well until the broken pipe is 
mended," he answered. 

"Bottled soda is all right," declared Russ. 
"We can drink it from straws if you have 
any," he added. 

"Yes, I have some," the store woman said, 
and soon the four little Bunkers were sitting 
on stools in front of the counter, sucking soda 
water through straws out of bottles. Captain 
Ben insisted on using a straw also, but Daddy 
Bunker drank his from a glass. 



THE STORM 67 

"My, that tastes good!" said Captain Ben, 
as he drained the last of his sweet drink. 
"Many a time, in the army in France, I'd have 
walked ten miles to get a cool drink like that." 

"The soda from the fountain is better," the 
woman said. "But I guess I won't have any 
of that to-day. I'll telephone for some one to 
come and mend the broken pipe." 

"Can't I go down and see where it broke?" 
asked Laddie, when it was time for the little 
Bunkers to travel again. "I want to see it." 

"There wouldn't be much to look at," Cap- 
tain Ben told him. "It would only be a hole 
in a pipe, just as there might be a hole in the 
water pipe at home if it burst." 

"Our water pipe did burst once," said Vi, 
"and I got awful nice and wet, and it was a 
hot day, too." 

"That was lucky!" laughed Captain Ben. 

"If I could see this broken pipe maybe I could 
make up a riddle about it," went on Laddie. 
"I didn't make up a riddle in a long, long time. 
And if I don't make up one pretty soon I'll have 
to ask the old ones over again." 

"I'll tell you some new riddles when I get 
a chance," promised Captain Ben. "It's dark 



68 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

down in the cellar, and you couldn't see any- 
thing much anyhow. Besides, we don't want 
to be late getting to Grand View, or your 
mother, with Margy and Mun Bun, will be 
there ahead of us. I'm not so sure, after all, 
but what they'll be there first anyhow," he said 
to Daddy Bunker. "It is later than I thought." 

"Then we must hurry," said the children's 
father. "I wouldn't like Amy and the two chil- 
dren to be there alone after dark." 

"They'll be safe enough," declared Captain 
Ben. "The key to my bungalow is at the house 
next door, and Cousin Amy can go in and make 
herself and Mun Bun and Margy perfectly at 
home in case they get there first. But we'll 
try to arrive ahead of them. I'll make the 
auto go a little faster." 

"Doesn't it seem funny not io have Mun Bun 
and Margy with us on this trip?" asked Rose, 
as they all prepared to get into the automobile 
again. 

"Indeed it does," said her father. "But you 
six little Bunkers will soon all be together 
again." 

"Pile in !" called Captain Ben, and he helped 
Vi up into the seat to which Russ had already 



THE STORM 69 

assisted Rose. Laddie was just going to enter 
the car when he suddenly turned back and hur- 
ried toward the store. 

"What's the matter now?" his father called 
after him. "Are you still going to look for 
the hole in the pipe where the soda water came 
out?" 

"Maybe he left one of his riddles in there," 
suggested Captain Ben, with a laugh. 

A moment later they saw what it was Laddie 
had gone back after — it was a little bag of 
cookies he had asked Rose to buy for him. He 
had laid them on the counter when he was 
drinking his soda water through a straw stuck 
in the bottle, and he did not intend to leave his 
lunch behind. 

"Give me some!" begged Violet, when she 
saw what her brother had in his hand. 

"I'll give us all some," he promised gen- 
erously. 

"All aboard, then!" called Captain Ben, and 
once more they were on their way toward 
Grand View. They stopped for lunch at a 
hotel in a small town, and the children were 
delighted at this. They always liked a change, 
no matter what it was. 



70 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"And we never had a summer like this," said 
Rose. "Two different vacation trips — one to 
Uncle Fred's and the other to Captain Ben's." 

"We aren't at Captain Ben's yet," said Rose, 
as they started off again after their lunch. 

"But we shall be pretty soon, sha'n't we, 
Daddy?" asked Rose. 

"I don't know just how much farther it is," 
was the answer. "What do you say?" he 
asked, turning to the soldier-sailor. 

The latter did not reply for a moment, and 
then he looked up at the sky, studied the clouds 
for a moment before he said : 

"I don't want to look on the dark side, but 
I'm very much afraid we are going to be later 
getting. to Grand View than I thought." 

"Why?" asked Daddy Bunker. 

"Because I think we are going to run into 
a storm, and that will delay us," said Captain 
Ben. "The roads are none too good, and with 
a heavy rain, such as it seems likely we'll have, 
we can't make very fast time." 

"I just love to be in a rain in an auto when 
the side curtains are up, don't you?" asked 
Rose of Russ. 

"I do if they don't leak," he answered. 



THE STORM 71 

"It's just like playing house in our attic," 
said Vi. "When do you think it will rain, Cap- 
tain Ben?" she went on. 

"Very soon, I'm sorry to say," he replied. 

The sun went behind the clouds, and the 
afternoon changed from a bright, smiling one 
to a dark, frowning one. Then the wind began 
to blow, and in the west, behind some dark 
clouds, flashes of lightning could be seen. 

Captain Ben made the automobile go as fast 
as was safe, hoping they might reach some 
place of shelter before the storm broke. It was 
not possible to get to his bungalow, as they 
were too far away. 

Suddenly the machine began to slow up, just 
after a loud clap of thunder which followed a 
bright flash of lightning. 

"What's the matter ?" exclaimed Rose. "Did 
it strike us ?" 

"Pooh! Of course not!" exclaimed Russ. 
"If we'd been hit you'd know it!" 

"No, there is no danger yet," answered Cap- 
tain Ben. "But I think we'd better stop and 
put up the side curtains before it rains, as it 
is going to soon, and rain hard," he said to 
Daddy Bunker. 



72 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

The automobile was run beneath a tree at 
the edge of the road, and the two men began 
fastening up the side curtains. Hardly had 
they finished and climbed back into the ma- 
chine, than there was a louder howl to the wind, 
the thunder rolled and crashed overhead, the 
lightning blazed in the black sky, and then the 
rain came down with pelting force, pattering 
on the top and sides of the automobile as it 
did on the shingle roof at the home of the six 
little Bunkers. 



CHAPTER VIII 

A QUEER NIGHT 

"Isn't this fun !" shouted Rose, leaning back 
in the seat and putting her arm around Violet. 
"It's just like camping out." 

"It's better'n camping out," declared Russ, 
who sat next to Laddie. The two smaller chil- 
dren were on the back seat of the automobile 
between Russ and his sister. 

"What makes this better'n camping out?" 
Violet wanted to know. "Is it 'cause it rains 
harder?" 

"No," Russ answered, "it's because we're 
under better shelter than we would be in a 
tent, camping out in the rain. No water can 
get through this auto top." 

"Yes it can, too !" cried Laddie. "I just felt 
a drop on my nose." 

"Oh, that just leaked in around the side cur- 

73 



74 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

tains," declared Russ, with a laugh. "We'll 
not get wet; shall we, Captain Ben?" 

"I hope not," was the marine's answer, as 
he got ready to drive the car through the storm. 
He and Daddy Bunker were on the front seat, 
with the glass wind shield in front of them, 
and curtains at the sides, as there were at the 
back and at the sides near the seat where the 
children sat. 

"You'll have to drive slowly," said Mr. 
Bunker in a low voice to Captain Ben. 

"Yes, we can't make any speed," said the 
sailor. "The roads are mud puddles already." 

Indeed it had rained so hard that in a very 
short time it seemed as though the automobile 
was going along through a small brook in- 
stead of along a country road. It was very 
dark, though it was only the middle of the 
afternoon. But by the lightning flashes, which 
came every now and then, the four little 
Bunkers, looking out through the celluloid win- 
dows in the side curtains, could see the streams 
of muddy water rushing along in the middle 
and on either edge of the country road along 
which they were traveling. 

The thunder, too, boomed out every now 



A QUEER NIGHT 75 

and then, a sound at which Laddie and Vi 
would jump in startled surprise and nestle 
closer to Russ and Rose. The smaller chil- 
dren were not exactly afraid, but they could 
not help jumping at the loud sound made by the 
claps of thunder. 

Uncle Ben had to drive the car more and 
more slowly, for it was slippery on the muddy 
roads, and he did not want an accident. 
Finally, after he had to come almost to a stand- 
still where a brook had overflowed the road, 
Russ and Rose heard their father talking to 
the soldier-sailor. 

"Do you think it is safe to go on?" asked 
Mr. Bunker. 

"No, I can't say that I do," answered Cap- 
tain Ben. "I think we shall never be able to 
get to Grand View to-night." 

"That's too bad," went on Daddy Bunker. 
"I'm not worrying about Amy and Mun Bun 
and Margy," he added. "They will be all right 
in your bungalow. But what are we going 
to do?" 

"Well, we shall have to put up somewhere 
over night," answered Captain Ben. 

"Oh, are we going to stay at a hotel ?" asked 



76 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Rose. "I like hotels; don't you, Russ?" she 
asked her brother. 

"Sometimes I do, when they have good 
things to eat," he answered, but his last words 
were almost lost in a crash of thunder. When 
the echoes of that had quieted down, Captain 
Ben said: 

"I don't believe there is a hotel within ten 
miles of us, and we certainly can not travel 
that much farther in this storm." 

"Then what are we going to do?" asked 
Daddy Bunker. 

"Can't we stay in the auto all night ?" asked 
Russ. "We have some blankets and things in 
our satchels." 

"I'm afraid none of you would sleep much," 
said Captain Ben, as he slowed the machine to 
pass a bad spot in the road. "No, what we 
shall have to do," he added, "will be to stop at 
the first house we come to and ask them if they 
can take us in for the night. Some farmer 
may be kind enough to let us stay in his barn, 
if there isn't room in the house, but I gues3 
they can manage, even if they have to make 
beds on the floor." 

"I like to sleep on the floor!" spoke up 



A QUEER NIGHT 77 

Laddie. "It doesn't hurt then if you fall out." 

"No, it doesn't," agreed his father, with a 
laugh, and just then Rose looked ahead and 
exclaimed : 

"There's a house! Maybe we can stop 
there!" 

A lull had occurred in the storm, and 
through the mist and driving rain she pointed 
to a large, white house at the side of the road. 

"I'll try that," said Captain Ben, and he 
steered the automobile up the drive. He got 
out, ran up the steps and knocked on the door. 
A pleasant-faced woman answered. What was 
said the four little Bunkers could not hear, but 
presently Captain Ben came running back. 

"They will let us all stay here over night," 
he said. "They are very kind, and we shall be 
most comfortable. Hurry up on the porch, 
children, before it starts to pour again." 

Hardly had Rose and Russ, Vi and Laddie 
got under the shelter of the broad porch of 
the farmhouse than it began to rain harder 
than ever. But the children did not mind now, 
for they were soon to be in better shelter than 
even the curtained automobile gave. 

The farmer, who seemed as pleasant as his 



78 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

wife, came out to show Captain Ben where 
to put the automobile in the wagon house, and 
soon the party was safe and snug in the com- 
fortable house, while the storm raged out- 
side. 

"Now if we only had mother and Margy and 
Mun Bun here, we'd be all right," observed 
Rose. 

"What's that? Are there any more of 
you?" asked the farmer, with a hearty laugh 
as he looked at the visitors. "One, two, three, 
four!" he counted the children. "Are there 
any more ?" 

"Oh, yes," answered Rose, also laughing. 
"There are six of us little Bunkers. Margy 
and Mun Bun are with my mother." 

"Well, well ! Six little Bunkers !" exclaimed 
the farmer. "And I have four of 'em ! Wish 
I had all six to visit me!" he added. "I like 
children," he continued, turning to Captain 
Ben and Daddy Bunker. "I have none of my 
own, but my sister is visiting me, and she has 
three. Hear 'em?" he asked, holding up his 
hand for silence. 

As the four little Bunkers and the others 
listened during a lull in the storm, there came 



A QUEER NIGHT 79 

from upstairs the sound of merry laughter and 
shouting. 

"The harder it rains and thunders the 
harder they play and laugh," said Mr. White, 
as the farmer said his name was. "I'll bring 
my sister's three youngsters down and let 'em 
play with your four. Then there'll be some 
little Bunkers and little brooks," he went on. 
"My sister's name is River, and I call the chil- 
dren little brooks," he added, with another 
laugh. 

"Oh, that's almost like a riddle!" declared 
Laddie. 

"Oh, ho! So you know riddles, do you?" 
asked the farmer. 

Just then there was a loud noise out in the 
hall, and down the stairs came trooping the 
three little "brooks," as Mr. White called his 
sister's children. They soon made friends with 
the four little Bunkers, and then the storm was 
forgotten. 

But it still rained hard, and the automobile 
could not have traveled in it, so it was a good 
thing they all stayed at the comfortable farm- 
house. Mr. White said he had plenty of room 
for them all to sleep, even if his sister was visit- 



•0 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

ing them, and Russ was rather disappointed 
that he was not permitted to sleep out in the 
haymow. 

"I wish I could get word to my wife that we 
will not be along until to-morrow," said Daddy 
Bunker, when it was certain they would have 
to- stay all night. 

"You can send her a telegram," suggested 
Mr. White. 

So a telegram was telephoned to the nearest 
telegraph office, being sent to Mrs. Bunker, 
who, by this time, had reached Grand View. 
Then the Bunkers settled down to stay for the 
night. First, however, they were given sup- 
per, and such fun as the seven children had! 
They laughed and talked, and Laddie told all 
the riddles he knew. 

Tom, Jack and Bess, the three little 
"brooks," were jolly children about the same 
age as the four little Bunkers, and Tom, the 
oldest boy, and Russ were soon fast friends, 
while Jack and Bess, who were nearer the age 
of Laddie and Vi, went off in a corner of the 
big living room after the meal and played 
games. 

At night Daddy Bunker and Captain Ben 



A QUEER NIGHT 81 

had one room, while Vi went in with Rose and 
Laddie slept with Russ. 

The children were tired, and went to bed 
early. Just what time it was Rose did not 
know, but she was suddenly awakened by feel- 
ing a little hand on her face, and a voice said 
in her ear : 

"I want to come in with you !" 

"Is that you, Margy?" Rose asked, half 
asleep. She thought for a moment that she 
was back at home, and that Margy had come 
to "bunk in," as she often did. 

"No, I'm not Margy," was the answer. "I'm 
Bess. An' I can't sleep with Tack 'cause he 
fumbles so." I think Bess meant tumbles, but 
she said "fumbles." 

"Oh, you're one of the little brooks, aren't 
you?" asked Rose, more wide awake now. 

"I'm Bess," was the answer, "an' I want to 
come in with you !" 

Rose hardly knew what to do. There was 
scarcely room in the bed where she and Vi 
were sleeping, but this strange little girl in- 
sisted on climbing up. 

Rose was thinking perhaps she had better 
call her father or Captain Ben and ask one of 



82 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

them what to do, when, from the room across 
the hall where Russ and Laddie had a bed, 
came a cry from the little riddle-asking chap. 

"Here ! Quit that !" cried Laddie. "Let me 
alone ! Stop pulling me out of bed !" 

"Gracious, what a queer night!" thought 
Rose, as she sat up in bed. The storm had 
ended and it was very quiet except for the 
shouts of Laddie. He kept on calling: 

"Let me alone ! Oh, there you go f Now I'm 
out of bed!" 

There was a thud, and the whole house 
seemed to shake. 



CHAPTER IX 



IN THE DITCH 



Rose jumped out of bed, brushing aside the 
little River girl who had stolen so silently into 
her room, and hurried out into the hall, where 
a night light burned. As she hastened out, 
Rose gave a hasty glance at Violet. Her little 
sister had not awakened. 

There was a patter of bare feet behind Rose, 
and she knew that Bess was following. As she 
went after Rose into the hall Bess exclaimed : 

"Oh, there he goes ! There he goes ! He's 
gone and done it again !" 

At the same time there was a confusion of 
voices in several rooms, and some one called: 

"Never mind, Jack. Mother's coming!" 

This was just what Rose had often heard 
her mother say when there had been some 
scare in the night among the six little Bunkers. 

"He's gone and done it again!" cried Bess, 

83 



84 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

and she now clung to Rose's nightgown. Then 
from the room whence the thud of the fall 
had come, sounded another voice crying : 

"I didn't mean to !" 

"Well, this is getting more and more queer 
all the while !" thought Rose, rubbing her eyes 
to make herself more widely awake. "First it 
was Laddie who was calling about being pulled 
out of bed, but that wasn't Laddie who spoke 
last, nor Russ." 

A moment later Russ appeared, coming from 
the room where he had been sleeping with his 
small brother Laddie. There was a strange 
look on Russ' face. As Rose looked at him she 
saw the little figure of Jack come out of the 
room behind Russ, even as Bess had followed 
her out of her room. And then came Laddie, 
making a procession of three little pajama-clad 
small boys. 

At the other end of the hall Daddy Bunker 
appeared in his dressing gown, and then came 
Mrs. River and Mr. White. 

"What's the matter?" asked Daddy Bunker. 

"I don't know," Rose answered. "But this 
little girl — Bess — came into my room and woke 
me up. I didn't know what to do, and then I 



IN THE DITCH 85 

heard Laddie call about being pulled out of 
bed, and " 

"And I was pulled out of bed, too !" Laddie 
interrupted. "Somebody came into my room 
in the night and pulled all the covers off me, 
and then he pulled me, and it wasn't Russ, 
either!" he added. 

"No, it was him!" and Bess pointed an ac- 
cusing finger at her small brother Jack. "He 
did it again, Uncle Ned," she added, looking 
toward Mr. White. 

"Dear me ! what is it all about ?" asked Cap- 
tain Ben, now appearing. "I don't quite un- 
derstand." 

"I think I can explain," said Mrs. River, 
who had slipped on a dressing gown and slip- 
pers. "Jack walked in his sleep again, didn't 
he, Bess?" 

"Yes, Mother, he did. He got awful 
scrambly when I was sleeping with him, and I 
thought he was going to kick me out of bed, 
as he does lots of times, so I got out first." 

"You did?" exclaimed her mother. "And 
where did you go ?" 

"In with her," answered Bess, pointing to 
Rose. 



86 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Then Jack must have got up a little later 
and pulled this little boy out of bed," said Mrs. 
River. "I hope he didn't hurt you," and she 
patted Laddie on the head. 

"Oh, no'm. I fell on a pile of bedclothes," 
he answered. "But it felt funny at first." 

Jack, the innocent cause of all the trouble, 
stood scratching his back, or rather, trying to 
reach an itchy place in the very center. But 
his arms were not long enough. 

"ril scratch it for you," offered Laddie, and 
he did, amid the laughter of the grown folk. 

"Is that all that happened?" asked Daddy 
Bunker, when quiet was restored. 

"Yes," was the answer from Russ. "First 
I knew I heard Laddie yelling, and then he 
rolled out of bed." 

"I didn't roll— I was pulled. He pulled me !" 
said Laddie, pointing to the poor little "brook" 
boy. 

"I — I didn't mean to," said the poor little cul- 
prit. "I didn't know what I was doing. I 
didn't even know I got out of my bed." 

"I think, when you get back in, I'll have to 
tie you with a piece of clothesline," his mother 
said. "He has often walked in his sleep be- 



IN THE DITCH 87 

fore," she explained; "but I never knew him to 
pull any one out of bed until now." 

The excitement was soon over, and the chil- 
dren went back to their beds and to sleep. Mrs. 
River took Jack in with her, and Bess was 
allowed to sleep with Rose and Violet, much to 
the delight of Bess. Violet never awakened 
through all these happenings, nor did Tom, the 
oldest River boy. 

The sun was shining when the four little 
Bunkers came down to breakfast the next 
morning, and they laughed with the little 
"brooks" at the memory of what had happened 
in the night. 

"As soon as I heard that big bang I knew 
what had happened," said Bess. "I knew Jack 
had gone and done it again, but I didn't know 
who it was he had pulled out of bed." 

Breakfast over, the four little Bunkers, with 
Captain Ben and their father, got ready to re- 
sume their trip to Grand View. They still had 
many miles to go, but they thought they could 
make it by night, even though the roads were 
bad. 

"And they are pretty sure to be in poor con- 
dition," said Captain Ben, as he brought the 



88 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

automobile around to the side porch. "We 
shall have to drive slowly on account of so 
much slippery mud after the rain." 

Mr. White would not accept any money for 
having taken care of the travelers over night, 
and after thanking him and saying good-bye to 
the little "brooks," promising to come and visit 
them some time, the Bunkers started off once 
more. 

"We'll have lots to tell mother when we see 
her," said Rose as she settled herself in the 
rear seat of the car. 

"I should say so!" exclaimed Russ. "It 
surely was funny to wake up and hear Laddie 
yelling, and then to hear him fall out of bed !" 

"And I didn't know what to think when I 
felt Bess touch me," remarked Rose. "At first 
I thought it was Margy." 

"I guess Margy and Mun Bun are playing 
near the ocean now," said Vi. "I wish we 
were." 

"You'll soon be with them," promised Cap- 
tain Ben. 

"And I'm going to try to think up a riddle 
about falling out of bed," said Laddie. 

Though the sun shone and the weather was 



IN THE DITCH 89 

fine now, there were traces of the night's storm 
on every side. In some places there were 
brooks still running high with water, and in 
one or two sections the road bed had been 
washed away, so that Captain Ben had to drive 
slowly and carefully. 

They had just left a small village, after a 
stop to get something to eat and to let the chil- 
dren have soda water, when they passed a man 
driving an empty farm wagon. 

"You folks want to watch out just the other 
side of the white bridge," this man called to 
Captain Ben. 

"What's the matter?" asked Daddy Bunker. 

"There's a bad piece of road just after you 
cross the white bridge," was the answer. "It's 
clay, and clay is slippery when it's wet. Watch 
out!" 

"We will," promised Captain Ben, and he 
drove slowly along. They soon came in sight 
of the white bridge. It went over a canal, 
and there was a hill on either side of the bridge, 
which was raised high over the canal to allow 
boats to pass under it. 

"I should say it was a bad, slippery road!" 
said Captain Ben, as the machine started down 



90 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

the slope after crossing the bridge. "I'll just 
have to crawl." 

He shut off all power and put on the brakes. 
For a little way the car went down well, and 
it seemed as if nothing would happen. Then, 
suddenly, the wheels slipped in the slimy clay 
and Daddy Bunker shouted: 

"Look out!" 

But, even as he spoke, the automobile slid to 
one side, and the next moment there was a 
crash and the four little Bunkers and their 
father and Captain Ben were almost standing 
on their heads inside the automobile, which 
slid into a deep ditch partly filled with water 
at the side of the road. 



CHAPTER X 



THE BAD RAM 



There was silence for a moment, following 
the crash of the big touring car in the ditch, 
and then Violet piped up in her shrill voice ask- 
ing, as of course you have guessed, a question. 

"What happened?" demanded Violet, and 
then, as Captain Ben looked back and saw that 
all four little Bunkers were safe in the rear 
seat, though somewhat mixed up, and as he 
saw Daddy Bunker straightening up after hav- 
ing slid from the front seat, Captain Ben 
laughed. 

"I guess more things happened than we'll 
know about right away," answered the marine. 
"Are any of you hurt?" 

"I — I guess my nose got bumped," said 
Laddie. "It feels so, anyhow." 

"You ought to know whether or not you 
bumped it," his father said. 

91 



92 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"I didn't bump it — my nose bumped itself 
on the back of your seat," explained Laddie. 
"Anyhow, I don't guess it's bloodin', is it?" he 
went on, holding his hand to his nose. "Blood- 
in' " was Laddie's word for bleeding. 

"No, it isn't bloodin' any," Vi told her 
brother. "But, oh, wasn't it funny the way we 
slid into the ditch?" 

"I'm glad it is no worse than funny," said 
Captain Ben. "I felt the car sliding on the 
slippery road, but the brakes would not hold 
her back. I'm afraid something is broken, but 
I'm glad none of our bones are." 

"Lessen Laddie's nose is," put in Vi. 

By this time Daddy Bunker and the chil- 
dren had climbed down from the car. They 
could see now what had happened. It had 
slid almost head first into the roadside ditch, 
which was partly filled with muddy water from 
the last night's rain. The radiator, or that 
part of the automobile which is kept filled with 
water to cool the engine, was thrust into the 
muddy bank on the far side of the ditch. One 
of the front wheels was broken, and, in addi- 
tion, the car was tilted on one side. If it had 
not been for the edges of the ditch holding the 



THE BAD RAM 93 

car up, it would have turned right over on its 
side. 

"Oh, the wheel is broken !" exclaimed Rose, 
as she looked at the splintered spokes. 

"And we can't go on to Grand View and see 
mother !" added Vi. 

"Shall we have to stay here all night?'' 
Laddie asked. "If we do, we'd better get a 
tent, 'cause it won't be any fun sleeping in the 
automobile like that." 

"No, it will not," said Captain Ben, as he 
walked around the car and looked at it from 
all sides to see the worst of the damage. "But 
we won't stay here all night. If we can't go 
on in this machine, we'll get another." 

"I don't see how you can go on in this when 
a wheel is smashed," said Daddy Bunker. 

"I have an extra wheel," Captain Ben said. 
"If that is the worst of the damage we can 
get over that, provided we can get pulled out 
of the ditch. That's the first thing to be done 
— get pulled out of the ditch. But it looks as 
though we should not get to Grand View even 
to-night, and I don't know what Cousin Amy 
will think of me for keeping her four little 
Bunkers away from her two nights in succes- 



94 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

sion, not to say anything about her big 
Bunker," and as he said this Captain Ben 
looked at the children's father. 

"Yes, I fear Amy will be missing us," said 
Mr. Bunker. "But we don't want to desert 
you, Captain Ben. If I had some way of talk- 
ing to Amy and telling her just what has hap- 
pened, letting her know the children are safe, 
I'm sure she wouldn't mind if we stayed on 
the road another night — that is if we have to." 

"I'm almost sure we'll have to," said Cap- 
tain Ben. "I am very sorry, but I seem to have 
brought you nothing but bad luck ever since I 
came. When I arrived your chimney was on 
fire. Then almost as soon as we start out we 
run into a storm and have to stay all night. 
We can't even have a peaceful night, for Jack 
made Laddie fall out of bed and there were 
all kinds of excitement." 

"That was only fun!" laughed Rose. 

"It sure was," agreed Russ. "And maybe 
this will be fun, too. That is, if mother doesn't 
worry, and we can get the car out of the ditch," 
he added. 

"Oh, we can get the car out of the ditch, 
sooner or later," Captain Ben remarked. "And 



THE BAD RAM 95 

I fancy we can get word to your mother — per- 
haps on the telephone. We'll try, anyhow." 

As he spoke he thrust out his left arm and 
glanced down at his wrist. 

"Ha ! I forgot about my watch being gone," 
he exclaimed. "I'm so in the habit of looking 
at it that I forget it isn't on my wrist any 
more." 

"Didn't you find your watch?" asked Daddy 
Bunker. 

"No, it was lost in the excitement of pack- 
ing, and I haven't seen it since," the soldier- 
marine answered. "I'd give a good reward to 
get it back, too, for I prize it very much be- 
cause it was the gift of a Frenchman. But I 
don't suppose I'll ever find it." 

"You may," said Daddy Bunker hopefully. 
"As soon as we get to your bungalow at Grand 
View I'll write back and ask Jerry Simms or 
Norah if they have found it. They may have 
picked it up after we left." 

"Yes, they might," agreed Captain Ben. 
"And I'll give five dollars as a reward to who- 
ever finds my lost watch," he added. 

"Does that mean any of us?" asked Russ 
eagerly. 



96 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Yes, any of the six little Bunkers," an- 
swered Captain Ben. "Or either of the two 
big Bunkers, which means daddy or mother," 
he added. "But we won't worry about my lost 
watch now. The main things to do are to get 
our auto out of the ditch and to let Mother 
Bunker know that we are all right and that 
we'll not be at Grand View to-night, unless you 
folks go on in the train and let me come later 
in the machine after I get it fixed." 

"No, we'll stay with you," said Daddy 
Bunker. "We won't desert the ship, as the 
sailors would say. Of course I suppose I could 
send the children on and stay with you my- 
self," he remarked. 

"Oh, no ! Please let us stay !" begged Russ. 
"It's lots of fun being wrecked in an auto." 

"I like it, too," said Laddie. "And maybe I 
can think of a funny riddle about going in the 
ditch to tell mother." 

"All right ; then we'll stay with Captain Ben 
and help get the machine out of the ditch," 
said Daddy Bunker. "After it is on level 
ground we can try to put on the extra wheel, 
and perhaps then we can travel and get to 
Grand View rather late to-night." 



THE BAD RAM 97 

"I hope so," said Captain Ben. "If we could 
get some fence rails, perhaps we could raise the 
auto out of the ditch ourselves. I used to do 
such things in France during the war." 

"There's lots of fences around here," ob- 
served Russ. 

This was true enough. The auto had gone 
into the ditch near the canal, and it was in a 
part of the country where there were many 
fields, bordered by rail fences. A long fence 
rail makes a very good lever, or lifter, for an 
auto, Captain Ben explained. 

While the four little Bunkers wandered 
along the roadside, gathering flowers and toss- 
ing stones into a little brook, Captain Ben and 
Daddy Bunker took some rails from the fence. 
They intended to put them back when they had 
finished using them. With stones they built up 
a sort of pile, or pyramid, on which to rest 
part of the rail, while one end of it was shoved 
under the wheel that was deepest in the mud of 
the ditch. Then the two men pressed down 
on the other end of the rail. 

Russ, who did not care much about picking 
flowers, came back to watch his father and the 
captain. Russ wanted to help, but he knew 



98 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

this was no time to ask, so he sat on the grassy 
bank whistling softly, and making a little boat 
out of a piece of wood. 

"I think we'll have to get help," said Cap- 
tain Ben, as he straightened up after he and 
Daddy Bunker had pressed down heavily on 
the long end of the rail. "The two of us to- 
gether are not strong enough to raise the car 
out of the ditch." 

"Maybe I could help !" offered Russ eagerly. 

"Not just yet," his father said, with a laugh. 
"Though a little later on we may call on you. 
I wonder if there is a place around here where 
we could get a couple of farmers to give us a 
hand," he went on. 

"Here comes a canal boat," said Russ, look- 
ing down the still, quiet stream of water which 
was not like a brook or a river. The water in 
the canal did not run, but remained as still as 
the water in a bath tub. 

"It's a nice canal boat," went on Russ, "and 
it's got some mules pulling it, and a man is 
driving the mules. Maybe he'd lend us his 
mules to help pull the auto out of the ditch." 

"Maybe he would," agreed Mr. Bunker. 
"We'll ask him. But first let's put the fence 



THE BAD RAM 99 

rail back under the wheel so when the canal 
boat man comes along we may show him what 
we want to do." 

As Daddy Bunker and Captain Ben leaned 
over to put the fence rail in place, Russ turned 
from looking at the canal boat to glance over 
the field near the half overturned auto. And 
the boy caught sight of something that made 
him cry: 

"Oh, look out ! Look out ! Here he comes !" 

"Who's coming?" asked Daddy Bunker. 
"If it's a farmer who is going to find fault be- 
cause we borrowed his fence rails, we can offer 
to pay him." 

"Oh, it isn't a farmer!" cried Russ. "It's 
worse ! It's a bad ram ! A big, ugly sheep with 
horns, and he's going to bunk into Captain 
Ben, I guess ! Oh, look out !" 



CHAPTER XI 



THE APPLE BOY 



What Russ had said was perfectly true. 
Daddy Bunker looked around just in time to 
see a big ram bounding out of the meadow 
toward Captain Ben, who was stooping to put 
the fence rail under the broken wheel of the 
automobile. And it was because of the rails 
that had been taken off the fence that the ram 
was able to get out of his meadow. 

"Oh, look!" screamed Rose, who, with 
Laddie and Vi, had come back to the automo- 
bile, their hands full of wayside flowers. 

"Don't let him bunk into me !" shrieked Vi. 

"I'll make him go back ! I'll throw stones at 
him!" cried Laddie. 

"Indeed you'll not do anything of the sort !" 

exclaimed Rose. "Come back here, Laddie 

Bunker!" and she caught her little brother by 

his jacket and stopped him from running for- 

100 




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THE BIG RAM RUSHED AT CAPTAIN BEN. 
Six Little Bunkers at Captain Ben's Page 101 



THE APPLE BOY 101 

ward. Laddie had dropped his flowers, and 
was going to pick up some stones. 

Russ had jumped to his feet and seized a 
stick. With that he intended to do as Laddie 
had said he was going to — attack the ram. 
But as the sheep creature with his long horns 
carre nearer, and as Laddie saw what a big, 
ugly animal he was, the boy did not feel much 
like standing his ground. 

By this time Captain Ben, who had not as 
yet seen the ram, straightened up. 

"What's the matter?" asked the marine. 
"Has another accident happened?" 

Just as he said this, and before Daddy 
Bunker could do as he was going to do, and 
thrust a fence rail between the ram's legs to 
trip him, the big sheep rushed full at Captain 
Ben. 

"Baa-a-a-a !" bleated the ram, and with low- 
ered head and curved horns, he struck Captain 
Ben "amidships," as the marine said after it 
was all over. 

There was a dull thud, and Captain Ben was 
knocked over and down into the same ditch 
into which the automobile had nearly turned a 
somersault. 



192 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Hi, there! Stop that! Go on away!" 
yelled Russ, jumping up and down, swinging 
his hat in one hand and waving a stick in the 
other. "Go on away!" 

But the ram paid no attention to the shouts 
of the boy, nor to the screams of Rose, Laddie 
and Violet in the road a safe distance away. 

"Are you hurt, Captain Ben ?" asked Daddy 
Bunker, as he caught up a heavy rail and 
started toward the ram. 

"No, not at all," came the answer from Cap- 
tain Ben, who was getting up, after having 
been knocked down into the ditch. "Luckily 
for me I fell on a lot of soft grass." 

"Don't get up or come this way, or this 
brute will butt you down again," warned Daddy 
Bunker. "I'll see if I can drive him away. 
Stay on the other side of the ditch." 

"No, I'm coming to help you. The ram may 
try to horn some of the children," returned the 
soldier-sailor. It was just like Captain Ben 
not to run away from a fight, either with some 
enemy on the battle field or a savage ram in a 
meadow. 

Not much hurt by having been knocked head 
over heels, Captain Ben caught up a stick, like 



THE APPLE BOY 103 

Daddy Bunker, and, leaping across the ditch, 
started to run toward the ram. The big, woolly 
creature stood on a little hill, looking at the 
partly overturned automobile, then at the two 
men rushing toward him, and then at Russ 
and the other children. 

"You get back where you belong and let me 
work on my auto!" called Captain Ben, as he 
raised his fence rail to push the ram away. 
"Get back in your own meadow!" 

"We can't make him stay there unless we 
put back the fence rails, I guess," said Daddy 
Bunker. "And we have to use them to get the 
auto out of the ditch." 

The two men, with the long rails, rushed at 
the ram. But he stood his ground, shaking his 
head, stamping with his forefeet, and uttering 
loud"Baa-a-as!" 

Just as Daddy Bunker and Uncle Ben were 
going to thrust at the ram, a voice behind them 
called : 

"Look out, friends! That's a bad animal! 
Once he goes on a rampage there's no stopping 
him." 

The four little Bunkers and their father and 
Captain Ben turned to see the canal mule 



104 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

driver rushing to their aid with a long whip 
in his hand. 

"I know old Hector, the ram !" said the mule 
driver. "He's butted me more than once, and 
he tried to butt one of my mules. But that 
time he got the worst of it. Better let him 
alone!" 

"But we want to drive him away," called 
Captain Ben. "He knocked me into the ditch, 
and he won't let us get our auto out. We've 
got to drive him away." 

"Well, then, I'll help you," offered the mule 
driver. "Maybe if all three of us go at him 
at once we can scare him away." 

"Let me help !" begged Russ. "I can throw 
stones !" 

"No! No!" exclaimed his father. "You 
look after Rose and the children. Better climb 
back into the auto. He can't get at you there." 

Russ started to do as his father had re- 
quested, and then the three men rushed at the 
ram together. The mule driver cracked his 
whip, making sounds like Fourth of July fire- 
crackers. Captain Ben and Daddy Bunker 
shouted and waved their fence rails. The ram 
stood for a moment, poised on top of a little 



THE APPLE BOY 105 

mound of grass, where he had climbed after 
butting Captain Ben. 

"Baa-a-a-a !" bleated the big sheep, as 
though saying he was not afraid of all of them. 

But before Captain Ben or Daddy Bunker 
could reach at him with the rails, and before 
the mule driver could flick him with the crack- 
ing whip, the ram thought better of his idea. 
He uttered another loud "Baa-a-a!" and then, 
turning, ran back into the field whence he had 
come. 

"Oh, I'm so glad he's gone!" cried Rose, 
who, with the other little Bunkers, had been 
about to climb into the tilted automobile. 

"He may come back again," said the mule 
driver. "He's a bad one, all right, that ram is. 
Fve been traveling this canal towpath for five 
years, and I know old Hector. Whenever he 
gets loose there's trouble." 

"I guess we were too much for him this 
time," said Daddy Bunker. "I fancy he did 
not like the cracking of your whip." 

"That's about the only way I can scare him," 
said the mule driver. "I'll keep it handy in 
case he comes back." 

But Hector, the ram, did not seem to have 



106 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

any idea of coming back. He ambled off over 
the green meadow, now and then looking back 
and uttering a "Baa-a-a!" It was as though 
he had decided he had had enough fun for one 
day. And he must have laughed to himself, 
if rams ever laugh, at the funny manner in 
which he had butted Captain Ben head over 
heels into the ditch. 

"My, but you seem to be in a peck of 
trouble," said the mule driver, as he looked at 
the automobile in the ditch. "Can I help 
any?" 

"I was just going to ask you to, when my 
little boy called out about the ram," answered 
Daddy Bunker. "Do you think you can help 
us get the auto on level ground, so we can 
put on an extra wheel?" 

"I'll do my best," offered the mule driver. 
"I saw something was wrong, so I ran over 
from the towpath. There's another man on 
the boat. I'll call him. I guess the four of 
us can manage it. But it will probably take 
some time." 

"Yes, I think it will," said Daddy Bunker. 
"And it is nearly noon, too. Do you know if 
there is a hotel around here, or a place where 



THE APPLE BOY 107 

I can take the children to stay while we are 
working on the car?" 

"There isn't any hotel," said the mule driver, 
"but about a quarter of a mile down the road 
is Mr. Brown's place. He has a big farm and 
orchard, and he sells meals to auto travelers, 
and sometimes keeps them over night." 

"That might be just the place for us," said 
Daddy Bunker. "We may have to stay all 
night again." 

"If we do," said Rose, "I hope nobody walks 
in his sleep." 

"What's she mean?" asked the mule driver. 

"That's what happened where we stayed 
last night," explained Mr. Bunker. "There 
were some other children at the farmhouse, 
and one of them walked in his sleep." 

"There aren't any children at Mr. Brown's," 
said the mule driver, "and I never heard of 
him or his wife walking in their sleep. They 
have good meals there, too — roast chicken, hot 
biscuits, pie, cake " 

"Oh, I'm so hungry !" cried Vi. "Mayn't we 
stay there, Daddy?" 

"At least we'll go there for dinner," said her 
father. "And then, later, we'll decide about 



108 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

to-night. Come on, children, I'll take you to 
Mr. Brown's country farm hotel, and then I'll 
come back to help Captain Ben." 

Mr. Brown's place proved to be a sort of 
wayside boarding house, where automobile 
parties often stopped. He and his wife said 
they would look after the children while the 
men worked on the automobile. And, if need 
be, the party could stay all night. 

"The only thing is I must get word to my 
wife. I'd like to talk to her on the telephone," 
said Daddy Bunker. 

"I have a long distance telephone right in 
the house," said Mr. Brown. "You call her up 
and see what she says." 

This Mr. Bunker did, managing to get his 
wife on the telephone in Grand View. He told 
her briefly what had happened, and said they 
might not be at Captain Ben's bungalow that 
night even, on account of the accident. 

Mrs. Bunker told her husband not to worry, 
as she was all right with Margy and Mun Bun, 
though of course lonesome for him and the 
other little Bunkers. 

"Then we'll remain here to-night if we can't 
get the car fixed," said Daddy Bunker to Mr. 



THE APPLE BOY 109 

Brown. "I'll let the children stay here now, 
and Captain Ben and I will come and get our 
dinner a little later." 

Russ, Rose, Laddie and Vi thought the 
Brown homestead was one of the nicest places 
they had ever visited. While dinner was being 
got ready they sat on the broad porch and told 
Mr. Brown some of their adventures so far on 
this trip. 

"My, you've had a lot happen to you," he 
said. "Automcbiling is a risky business I take 
it. I'll stick to horses. I remember once I 
was in an auto and I " 

Mr. Brown stopped suddenly, looked down 
toward his orchard and cried : 

"There he is again ! That pesky apple boy ! 
I'll get him this time, and I'll teach him to steal 
my fruit ! Hi there, you pesky apple boy !" he 
shouted, as he leaped from his chair and started 
on a run toward the orchard. 



CHAPTER XII 



OFFERING HELP 



Russ,. Rose, Laddie, and Vi, who had been 
sitting in chairs on the porch near Mr. Brown, 
listening to him talk about the uncertainties of 
an automobile, also jumped up as the boarding- 
house keeper cried out and left his seat. Russ 
looked in the direction the farmer pointed and 
saw, amid the trees in the apple orchard, a boy 
about his own size running as fast as he could 
run toward a fence. And, as the boy ran, 
apples dropped from his pockets to the grass. 

"Hi there, stop, you pesky apple-taker of a 
boy!" yelled Mr. Brown. "What do you mean 
by coming into my orchard and taking my 
apples !" 

The boy said never a word, but ran all the 
faster toward the fence. 

"Come on !" called Russ to Rose. "Let's go 

and see if he catches him !" 

no 



OFFERING HELP 111 

Laddie and Vi followed their older brother 
and sister down off the porch, and ran after 
Mr. Brown into the apple orchard, which was 
not far from the house. 

"What's the matter, children?" cried Mrs. 
Brown, coming from her kitchen where she 
was getting dinner ready. "Are you running 
away?" 

"We're going to see Mr. Brown catch the 
apple boy," Russ answered back over his 
shoulder. 

"Is that pesky apple boy here again ?" asked 
the farmer's wife. 

"What's a pesky apple boy?" asked Laddie, 
as he ran along beside Russ. "Is it a riddle? 
If it is I wish she or Mr. Brown would tell me 
the answer." 

"No, 'pesky' is sort of mean, I think," ex- 
plained Russ. 

"Hi there! Don't you run off with my 
apples !" shouted the farmer again, and by this 
time the boy had reached the fence. He started 
to climb over it, but it was too high, or else he 
was too small, and as he wiggled and struggled 
many more apples kept dropping from his 
pockets. He seemed to have filled his coat and 



112 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

trousers pockets pretty full with Mr. Brown's 
apples. 

"Now I have you !" cried Mr. Brown, as he 
rushed up to the boy and pulled him back just 
as the little fellow might have gotten over the 
fence if he had had a moment more. "Now I 
have you! I'll teach you to take my apples! 
I warned you if I caught you in my orchard 
again I'd have you arrested, and now I'm going 
to ! I told you to keep out of my orchard !" 

"No, you didn't," answered the boy in a sul- 
len voice, as the farmer took hold of his collar 
and began to drag him toward the house. 

"What makes you say I didn't?" demanded 
Mr. Brown, while Russ, Rose, and the others 
looked on wonderingly. "Didn't I tell you not 
to take any more of my apples?" 

"No, you didn't !" exclaimed the boy. "And 
I wish you'd let me go ! I never was in your 
orchard before, and I never took any of your 
apples before, and I wouldn't have taken any 
now only I was so hungry I was almost 
starved !" 

His chin began to tremble, and so did his 
lips, and it was easy to see he was almost ready 
to cry. 



OFFERING HELP 113 

Mrs. Brown came down through the orchard 
to meet her husband. 

"I see you caught him," she said. "We'll 
teach him not to take any more of our apples ! 
Bring him along and send for the constable. 
He'll take him to the lockup !" 

"Oh, please don't have me arrested!" 
begged the boy, who was a little older than 
Russ. "I never took any of your apples before, 
and I wouldn't have taken any now, only I was 
so hungry I couldn't help it. I didn't have any 
supper, and I didn't have any breakfast and 
I didn't see where I was going to get any din- 
ner, and " 

"Here, Abner Brown, you let that boy go !" 
suddenly exclaimed Mrs. Brown, and there was 
a new note in her voice and a different look on 
her face. "Poor child ! He's half starved, any- 
body can see that ! And I have a good dinner 
almost cooked and ready to serve. You come 
right along with me, poor child. I'll give you 
your dinner with these other children." 

"Oh, thank you !" said the boy, as the farmer 
let go of him. "Honest, I never took any of 
your apples before. I only just got here," he 
went on. "I've been walking a long way, and 



114 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

when I saw the apples I was so hungry I just 
couldn't help taking a few." 

"Are you sure you were never in my orchard 
before?" asked Mr. Brown. 

"Sure!" was the answer. "I never was in 
this town before. I don't even know the name 
of it." 

"Of course this isn't the same boy, Abner," 
went on Mrs. Brown. "A body could see that 
with their eyes shut. The other boy, who's 
been taking our apples, has red hair. This 
boy's is brown. 'Tisn't the same one at all!" 

"I'm glad of it," said the farmer. "But I 
would like to catch that chap who's been steal- 
ing from my orchard. Not that I mind a few 
apples. I'd give 'em to him willingly if he'd 
come and ask me. But I don't like a pesky 
apple thief! Though how you can see even 
red hair with your eyes shut, Mother, I don't 
know," he added, with a laugh at his wife. 

"Never mind about that," she said to her 
husband. "He isn't the same boy, and I'm glad 
of it. Come on up to the house," she went on. 
"I reckon I can give you a better dinner than 
just apples, though they're good enough to eat 
when you want 'em." 



OFFERING HELP 11* 

"Thank you," said the boy gratefully. "I'll 
do some chores for you to pay for my meal and 
the apples I took, if you'll let me," he went on. 
"I offered to work for a man last night, to pay 
for my supper, but he wouldn't let me, and he 
said if I didn't get off his place he'd set his 
ugly old ram after me." 

"Maybe that's the same ram that butted Cap- 
tain Ben!" exclaimed Rose. 

"Did that old ram of Hank Yardon's get 
loose?" asked Mr. Brown, as he walked back 
to the house with the children. 

"Yes," answered Russ, and he told what had 
happened. 

"Well, well!" said the farmer. "It's a good 
thing the canal mule driver happened along. 
Hector is a bad one!" 

"Do you live here?" asked the "apple boy," 
as Rose called him. He put his question to 
Russ, beside whom he was walking to the 
house. 

"No," was the answer. "We're on our way 
to Captain Ben's at Grand View and " 

"Where'd you say?" interrupted the boy 
quickly. 

"Captain Ben's," said Rose. 



116 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"No, I mean the name of the place." 

"Oh! Grand View," went on Russ. "It's 
on the seashore, and we're going there for our 
second vacation. We had one at Uncle Fred's 
ranch in the West, but something went wrong 
with the pipes in our school, and we couldn't 
go back for a month, so Captain Ben invited 
us to Grand View." 

"Hum ! Yes. Grand View," murmured the 
apple boy, who had said his name was Tad 
Munson. 

"Do you know where it is?" asked Rose, 
while Laddie and Vi ran on ahead, racing to 
see who would first reach the front porch of the 
farmhouse. 

"Yes, I know," was the low-voiced answer. 
"And I wish I was there. But I don't see how 
I can get there. All my money is gone, and 
none of the farmers want any work done that 
I can do. But I'm glad I'm going to have 
some dinner," he went on. "I can smell it now, 
and it makes me hungrier than ever." 

"I'm hungry, too," said Russ. 

"Are you going around in an automobile?" 
asked Vi, coming back after she had beaten 
Laddie in a race to the porch. 



OFFERING HELP 117 

"An automobile? I should say not!" cried 
the boy. "I travel on shanks' mules, I do." 

"Are they like canal mules?" Vi wanted to 
know. 

"Not exactly," answered the boy, smiling. 
"They're my legs — shanks I call 'em — and I've 
walked many a mile on 'em since I — well, for 
the last week," he said quickly. 

Russ looked at the boy sharply. There 
seemed to be something strange about him — 
as though he wanted to hide something — to 
hide something more than the apples he had 
stuffed into his pockets. 

"If I could get back anywhere near Grand 
View I'd never go away again," said the boy in 
a low voice. "I guess I did wrong, but it's too 
late now. I wish " 

Just then the voice of Mrs. Brown was heard 
calling : 

"Come to dinner, children!" 

"Ah! That sounds good!" murmured Tad 
Munson. 

Russ, Rose and the others thought the same, 
and soon they were sitting down to a bounti- 
fully supplied table. As the canal mule driver 
had said, there was roast chicken, hot biscuits 



118 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

with plenty of gravy, and many other good 
things. 

"I wish Daddy and Captain Ben could have 
some of this," said Rose, as she passed her 
plate for a second helping. 

"Oh, I'll save plenty for them," said Mrs. 
Brown. "I always cook a lot, because auto- 
mobile folks are almost always hungrier than 
the general run. Are you feeling better ?" she 
asked the strange boy who had taken the 
apples. 

"Oh, I feel a lot better," he said. "I can't 
thank you enough, nor tell you how sorry I am 
I took your apples," said Tad. "I'll do some 
chores to pay for my meal." 

"I think we sha'n't worry about that," said 
Mr. Brown, with a laugh. "I didn't mean to 
collar you quite so roughly, but I've been both- 
ered a lot with the pesky apple boys." 

"I know a riddle about apples," said Laddie. 

"Do you?" asked Mrs. Brown. "What is 
it?" 

"It's like this," went on Laddie. "Why is 
an apple like a wax doll?" 

"Why is an apple like a wax doll? I never 
heard of such a thing!" laughed the farmer's 



OFFERING HELP 119 

wife. "An apple isn't any like a wax doll that 
I can see." 

"Yes it is," said Laddie. "An apple is like 
a wax doll 'cause they both have red cheeks. 
A wax doll has red cheeks, and an apple has 
red cheeks." 

"What about a green apple?" asked Mr. 
Brown, as the others laughed at Laddie's little 
riddle. 

"Oh, well, I didn't mean a green apple," 
said the little boy. 

Dinner was half over when Daddy Bunker 
and Captain Ben came in. 

"Did you get the auto out of the ditch?" 
asked Russ. 

"Yes. But it's more badly broken than I 
thought," Captain Ben replied. "It can't be 
fixed until to-morrow, so we shall have to stay 
here all night. You don't mind as long as your 
mother and the other two little Bunkers are 
all right, do you?" he asked Russ. 

"Oh, no," was the answer. "It's fun here !" 

"And there was a pesky apple boy, only he 
wasn't the same one 'cause he didn't have red 
hair," explained Vi, "and there he is now!" 
and she pointed to Tad, whose face got as red 



120 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

as the wax doll's cheeks that Laddie told about 
in his riddle. 

"Oh, another youngster," remarked Captain 
Ben. "Are you a stalled autoist, too?" 

"No such luck," replied the boy. "I have to 
walk when I travel. And I wish I could hurry 
and travel right now to Avalon." 

"Avalon on the coast?" asked Captain Ben 
quickly. 

"Yes," answered the boy. "Avalon is where 
I want to get to. But I don't see how I'm going 
to." 

"Avalon is only a little distance from Grand 
View, where I have my summer bungalow," 
went on the sailor. "If you'd like to get there 
I can take you as far as I'm going. And you 
can get a trolley car to Avalon from Grand 
View." 

"Yes, I know I can," went on the boy. "I'd 
be ever so much obliged if you'd take me as 
far as Grand View." 

"I guess we can do that," promised the cap- 
tain. "We'll give you help along the way as 
soon as our car is in shape, which won't be 
until morning, however." 

"I'll wait and ride along with you, if they'll 



OFFERING HELP 121 

let me sleep here in the barn," said the boy, 
with a look at Mr. Brown. 

"Oh, shucks! We have plenty of room for 
you in the house," said the farmer's wife. 
"Stay and welcome!" 

"All right, I will, and thank you," the boy 
replied. 

"And now you men folks had better sit up 
and get your dinner," went on Mrs. Brown. 
"Getting autos out of ditches is hungry work." 

"Indeed it is !" agreed Captain Ben. 

He and Daddy Bunker had almost finished 
their pie, which was the last course of the meal, 
when a man came rushing up the front path. 

"Say, whoever owns that auto that's stuck 
in the ditch had better hurry back there !" the 
man called. "Something's the matter! I can 
hear a lot of yelling around the bend in the 
road!" 

Daddy Bunker and Captain Ben hurried 
from the table. 

"Goodness! what's going to happen now?" 
said Rose to Russ. 



CHAPTER XIII 



THE MISSING BOY 



The four little Bunkers had finished their 
dinner before their father and Captain Ben 
had started to eat. Tad Munson, the "apple 
boy," had also completed his meal, and as the 
man came running in from the road, calling 
out that something was wrong down where 
the automobile had been left, Russ, Rose, Vi 
and Laddie, together with Tad, started after 
Mr. Bunker and Captain Ben. 

"What you s'pose it is?" asked Vi, as she 
pattered along with her twin brother, holding 
his hand. 

"I don't know," answered Russ, who was 
running with Rose. "This is no time to ask a 
lot of questions, Vi." 

"I didn't ask a lot. I asked only one," re- 
torted the little girl. "And I think you might 

answer that." 

122 



THE MISSING BOY 123 

"I would if I knew the answer," said Russ, 
smiling a little ; "but I don't. We'll run along 
and see what's happening." 

"Maybe somebody is trying to take the 
auto," suggested Tad, who had made good 
friends with the four little Bunkers. 

"I guess they couldn't take Captain Ben's 
car unless they put on a new wheel and did a 
lot of other things," said Russ. "It was pretty 
badly smashed and they couldn't have fixed it 
so soon." 

"No, I guess not," agreed Tad. "Anyhow, 
something's happening." 

This was true enough. As the children ran 
out of the gate and down the road after the 
man who had given the alarm, their father, 
and Captain Ben, they could hear through the 
quiet, still country air a loud shouting around 
the bend in the road where the auto was in 
the ditch, about a quarter of a mile away. 

As the little Bunkers and the others hurried 
away from his house Mr. Brown was heard to 
say: 

"I knew it! You can't tell me autos are 
safe! Something's always happening to 'em! 
Give me a horse every time !" 



124 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

A little later Russ, Rose and the others came 
within sight of the place where Captain Ben's 
car had gone into the ditch. The children saw 
their father and Captain Ben approaching a 
crowd of men, who surrounded the car. 

"What'd I tell you?" cried Tad. "Some 
thieves are trying to take your auto!" 

"It does look so," agreed Russ, for certainly 
there was quite a throng about the machine, 
and all the men seemed much excited. 

Suddenly, however, the crowd about the 
stalled car parted, and out from among them 
ran a mule, who brayed loudly and kicked up 
his heels as though he were having a good 
time. 

"Oh, look! Look!" cried Vi. "Look at the 
funny mule!" 

"He's a circus mule!" added Laddie. "See 
him kick up his heels ! I could think of a funny 
riddle about him if I had time!" 

"What do you s'pose is the matter?" asked 
Rose. "Were they trying to make the mule 
do some tricks, Russ?" 

"I guess the mule did tricks without any 
making," her brother answered. "Oh, look 
at him kick up his heels !" 



THE MISSING BOY 126 

Indeed the canal animal was flying around 
in a circle, every now and then rising up on 
his forefeet and letting fly with his hind ones, 
and the men took good care to keep out of his 
way. 

Then, with a loud bray, the mule started 
over toward the canal bank, and one of the 
men followed him, shouting to the animal to 
stop. 

By this time Russ and the other children 
had reached the place of excitement. They 
saw their father and Captain Ben laughing, 
and then they knew nothing serious had hap- 
pened. 

"What was it? What made the mule kick 
up so funny? Was he a circus mule, and did 
he run back to the circus?" asked Vi, getting 
in all the questions possible in as short a time 
as she could. 

"No, he wasn't exactly a circus mule, but he 
acted like one," her father answered. "Did 
any of you get kicked ?" he inquired of the men 
around the automobile. 

"No; but I come pretty near on to it," an- 
swered one of them. "He sure was a high per- 
former." 



126 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"What happened?" asked Russ of Captain 
Ben. 

"Yes, tell us," murmured Rose. 

"As nearly as I can find out," said Captain 
Ben, "when your father and I went to dinner, 
after getting the auto as far out of the ditch 
as we could, some of the men from the canal 
decided they would hitch one of their mules to 
the car and see if he could pull it out. Mules 
are very strong, you know." 

"Are they strong kickers, too?" asked 
Laddie. 

"Indeed they are, very strong," Captain 
Ben answered. "Well, as I said, while we 
were down at Mrs. Brown's, getting our din- 
ner, the men tried to hitch the mule to the auto 
that was still partly in the ditch. But the mule 
didn't like the work, for he began to kick out, 
and finally he broke loose and did as he 
pleased. 

"That's the racket I heard as I was coming 
along the road," said the man who had run to 
Mr. Brown's to give the alarm. "I heard a 
mule braying and men shouting, and a boy told 
me about the auto accident a little while before. 
This boy said the man who owned the car was 



THE MISSING BOY 127 

at Brown's boarding house, so I ran there to 
tell you." 

"I'm glad you did," said Daddy Bunker. 
"I'm sorry there was so much trouble, but I'm 
glad no one was hurt. I guess we can't depend 
on a mule for hauling our car out of the ditch." 

"I guess not," said the canal boat man who 
had proposed using the long-eared animal. 
"General Sherman is all right, but he doesn't 
like to pull automobiles." 

"Who's General Sherman?" asked Russ. 

"That's my mule's name," answered the 
canal boat man. 

"You children had better run back to Mr. 
Brown's now," said Daddy Bunker to Russ and 
the others. "We'll see what we can do toward 
getting the car out, though I don't see how we 
can travel any farther to-day. It means an- 
other night on the road." 

"Oh, it's fun! I like it," said Rose. 

"It will be all right if nobody walks in his 
sleep," added Russ. 

"But I want to see mother and Mun Bun 
and Margy," said Vi, in a sad little voice. 

"We'll see them to-morrow," promised her 
father. "And I talked to mother on the tele- 



128 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

phone, so I know she's all right, and she knows 
we're all right." 

Vi looked more cheerful on hearing this, and 
soon she and the others were ready to start 
back to Mr. Brown's pleasant farmhouse. 

"Aren't you coming back with us, Daddy, 
and finish your dinner?" Laddie asked his 
father. 

"We had enough," said Mr. Bunker. 

"You didn't eat your pie," said Laddie. 

"Well, then, I'll take two pieces at supper," 
said Mr. Bunker, and he laughed with Cap- 
tain Ben. 

The rest of the day passed quickly for the 
four little Bunkers and Tad Munson, who 
played with them around the barn and the 
farmhouse. Tad seemed happier, now that he 
had been promised a ride almost to the town 
near Grand View where he wanted to go. But 
with all his good-nature, there seemed to be 
something strange about this boy who had 
taken apples because he was hungry. 

"I have my own ideas about that lad," is 
what Russ heard Mr. Brown saying to his wife 
when milking time came. 

"What do you think," asked Mrs. Brown. 



THE MISSING BOY 129 

"I think he's been in some kind of trouble," 
went on the farmer. "Too bad, it is, for he 
seems like a nice lad." 

Russ wondered what could be the matter 
with Tad. 

Daddy Bunker and Captain Ben came up the 
road from the ditch where they had been work- 
ing on the automobile. They looked tired, and 
they were very dirty. 

"Did you get it out of the ditch ?" asked Russ 
of his father. 

"Yes," was the answer, "it's out of the ditch. 
And we managed to get it to a garage where 
we hope it will be fixed so we can go on in 
the morning." 

"If we don't get to Grand View pretty soon," 
said Captain Ben, "I'm afraid the six little 
Bunkers will think I'm a pretty poor sort of 
a vacation planner. I haven't given you a very 
good time yet." 

"Oh, we've had lots of fun !" Rose hastened 
to say. 

"And the mule was awful funny the way he 
kicked up his heels," laughed Vi. 

"I wish I could think of a riddle about him," 
said Laddie. 



130 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

The others laughed at the little fellow, and 
then, when Daddy Bunker and Captain Ben 
had washed off as much of the oil and grease 
as possible, they all sat down to supper. Tad 
was with the four little Bunkers. 

"Will you be ready to ride back to Grand 
View with us in the morning ?" asked Captain 
Ben of the strange boy. 

"Oh, yes, thank you," was the answer. "I 
want to get to Avalon as soon as I can." 

After supper the visitors sat out on the broad 
porch in the pleasant shadows of evening. Mr. 
Brown was telling some simple riddles he 
knew, and Laddie was trying to guess them, 
when, suddenly, the farmer started from his 
chair and looked down toward the orchard. 

"What's the matter?" asked his wife. "Do 
you see that red-haired boy after our fruit?" 

"Well," said the farmer slowly, "it's a little 
too dark to see if he has red hair or not, but 
there's somebody down in my orchard. I'll 
go and take a look." 

"Better be careful," warned his wife. 

"I'm not afraid," was the answer, and he 
stepped quietly from the porch and walked off 
in the darkness. 



THE MISSING BOY 131 

"Maybe we'd better go with him," suggested 
Captain Ben. But just as he and Daddy 
Bunker were starting to follow the farmer, 
Mr. Brown came back. 

"I reckon it was only some tramps sneaking 
around," he said. "But I'll turn old dog Major 
loose, and he'll drive 'em off if they try to rob 
my hen roost." 

Russ, Rose and the others were so sleepy 
that they were sent to bed early by their father. 
Russ and Rose wondered if they would be dis- 
turbed as they had been the previous night by 
the little River children. 

"You don't walk in your sleep, do you?" 
asked Russ of Tad, who was to have a little 
room to himself. 

"No, I never did that I know of," he an- 
swered. 

The night passed quietly, as far as the 
Bunker children knew, and they all slept 
soundly. Rose did wake up once during the 
night to get Vi a drink, and it was then that 
Rose heard the distant barking of a dog. But 
as this often happened, even at home, she did 
not wonder at it, and she soon went to sleep 
again. 



132 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

The sun was shining brightly when she and 
the others awoke. 

"Well, I didn't hear anybody walk in his 
sleep," said Russ with a laugh, as he came 
downstairs. 

"All I heard was a dog barking," declared 
Rose. 

"Where's Tad?" asked Captain Ben. 

No one seemed to know. He had been given 
a room on the third floor. 

"Guess I'd better go up and call him," said 
Captain Ben. "He may have overslept and we 
want to get an early start — that is, we do if 
the garage men have my car fixed. I'll call 
Tad." 

He went upstairs, but came down with a 
queer look in his face. 

"That's funny," he said. 

"What is?" asked Daddy Bunker. 

"Tad isn't in his room," answered Captain 
Ben. "And, what's more, his bed hasn't been 
slept in. Tad is missing!" 



CHAPTER XIV 

IN THE OLD LOG 

Everybody, even the four little Bunkers, 
was surprised to hear this. 

"Tad missing!" exclaimed Daddy Bunker. 
"Are you sure he hasn't got up early to help 
with the chores ?" and he looked at Mr. Brown, 
who had just come in to breakfast. 

"No, he wasn't helping me," was the an- 
swer. "He did help with the chores last night. 
Said he was doing it to pay for his dinner and 
supper, and I must say he was spry about it, 
too. I'd like to have such a boy around the 
farm, and I asked him if he didn't want to 
work for me. But he said he wanted to get 
to Avalon, and that he was going to ride as 
far as Grand View with you folks this morn- 
ing." 

"I did promise to take him," said Captain 

133 



134 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Ben; "but he seems to have made an early- 
start to get ahead of us." 

"I'm sorry for the poor fellow," said Mrs. 
Brown. "But if he's gone, he's gone, and 
that's all there is to it. My private opinion is 
that Tad ran away from home, and now he's 
anxious to run back again. That's what I 
think." 

"I think so, too," said her husband. "Well, 
he seems able to take care of himself, and I'm 
glad he wasn't an apple thief ; anyhow he only 
took a few to keep from starving, and I didn't 
begrudge him those. Now let's get breakfast. 
I suppose you folks are anxious about your 
auto." 

"Yes," said Captain Ben. "Though the 
garage man said he'd work on it all night to 
get it ready for me this morning. I'll go down 
directly after breakfast." 

The meal was soon on the table, and the 
hungry little Bunkers ate with good appetites. 
At first they had felt sorry about Tad's ab- 
sence, but they soon forgot about him in think- 
ing of the fun of traveling again in Captain 
Ben's car. 

"And we'll see mother and Mun Bun and 



IN THE OLD LOG 135 

Margy to-night," said Rose, as she hummed 
a merry song. 

"HI be glad!" cried Russ, and he whistled, 
while a catbird in a tree outside tried to imi- 
tate him. Catbirds are relatives of the mock- 
ing birds, and they often imitate other birds, 
just as the mocking birds do. 

"You children stay here while Captain Ben 
and I go to the garage to see if the car is 
ready," directed Daddy Bunker, as he and the 
marine started off. 

They had hardly reached the front gate 
before Mrs. Brown came running out on the 
porch. She seemed much excited, and was 
waving her hands in the air as Norah had 
waved hers the time the Bunker chimney 
caught fire. 

"Wait a minute !" she called to Captain Ben 
and Mr. Bunker. 

"What's the matter?" asked the children's 
father. "Have you found the missing Tad?" 

"No. But some of my things are missing, 
too!" exclaimed the farmer's wife. "I left a 
box of my jewelry on the table at the head of 
my bed. Now it's gone — my box of jewelry 
is gone !" 



136 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"You don't say so !" cried her husband, who 
had heard what his wife said. "Your box of 
rings gone, and those ear rings I gave you! 
I know what happened! That boy Tad took 
'em and skipped off in the night! That's the 
reason he didn't sleep in his bed. He took my 
wife's things !" 

The four little Bunkers stared. 

"Hm," said Captain Ben slowly. "It seems 
hard to accuse a boy of anything like that, but 
it does look bad for him. Where were your 
things, Mrs. Brown?" 

The farmer's wife showed them her bed- 
room on the first floor, as is the case in many 
old-fashioned country houses. 

"I always put my box of jewelry on the table 
at the head of my bed," Mrs. Brown explained. 
"That's so I can run out quickly with it in case 
of fire." 

"And it's also very easy for some one to 
reach in from the outside and take it," said 
Daddy Bunker. "Was this window open ?" he 
asked, pointing to the one at the head of Mrs. 
Brown's bed. 

"Yes," she answered. "It was a hot night, 
so I left the window open." 



IN THE OLD LOG 137 

Mr. Bunker looked at the ground beneath 
the window. 

"That's how it happened," he said. "Some 
one has been walking around under the win- 
dow. I can see the footmarks in the ground, 
which is still soft from the rain. Whoever it 
was, came here, reached in through the open 
window from outside, and took the jewelry." 

"It must have been that boy Tad !" said the 
farmer. 

"Let's have a look at the footprints in the 
dirt," suggested Captain Ben. 

All of them, including the four little 
Bunkers, went out under the window. Daddy 
Bunker allowed no one to walk too near, as he 
said he wanted to see how many footmarks 
there were. After he had looked he said: 

"There was only one person here in the 
night. Whether it was the boy Tad or not, 
I can't say. The footprints aren't very big, 
and might have been made by a boy with large 
feet or a man with small feet." 

"Tad's feet were big," said Rose. "Or, any- 
how, he had on big shoes. He said they didn't 
belong to him, but they were the best he could 
find" 



138 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Wait a minute now, before we get to think- 
ing Tad did this," said Captain Ben. "Were- 
n't there some tramps around last night, Mr. 
Brown?" 

"Well, there was somebody in my orchard," 
answered the farmer. "I reckon they were 
tramps." 

"Maybe one of the tramps took your wife's 
box of jewelry from your room," went on the 
marine. 

"I never thought of them!" said Mrs. 
Brown. "I don't want to lose my nice jewelry, 
but I'd rather it was taken by tramps than by 
Tad. He seemed to be a nice boy !" 

"Maybe it isn't stolen at all," suggested 
Russ. "Once my mother thought her watch 
was stolen and she found it afterward in the 
bathroom." 

"Well, I wish I could find my wrist watch," 
said Captain Ben. 

"Was that taken, too, last night?" asked 
Mr. Brown. 

"No, I missed that when we were packing to 
take the six little Bunkers to my bungalow at 
Grand View," was the answer. "I guess I'll 
never find my watch. But it is possible that 



IN THE OLD LOG 139 

you may have put your jewelry somewhere 
else, Mrs. Brown. We'd better look." 

But the farmer's wife was sure she had 
placed the box on the table at the head of her 
bed near the open window, and a search all 
through the house did not bring it to light. 
So the jewelry was gone, and Tad was gone, 
and there was no sign of the tramps. 

Daddy Bunker and Captain Ben helped in 
the search for the missing rings and other 
things, and when they could not be found they 
went down after the automobile. It had been 
repaired so it would go again, and soon the 
four little Bunkers and their father and the 
marine were ready to travel on again. 

"If you see anything of Tad or some tramps, 
ask them if they have my jewelry," called the 
farmer's wife to the little party as they started 
off. 

"We will," promised Russ. 

Once more they were on the way. The 
weather was fine, and the roads firm and Cap- 
tain Ben's automobile was almost as good as 
before it had gone head-first into the ditch by 
the canal. 

"I almost forget how mother and Mun Bun 



140 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

and Margy look," said Rose, as they were on 
the last stage of their journey. 

"Yes, though it is only two days since we 
have seen them, it seems much longer," said 
her father. "But we'll all be together this 
evening, and then for some glorious times !" 

"Hurray!" cried Laddie. "I'm going to 
think up a lot of new riddles, too !" 

They stopped at a wayside spring to get a 
drink. The spring was not far from a farm- 
house, and as Russ, Rose and the other chil- 
dren were looking at the flowers in the front 
yard they noticed a dog barking at a big log 
which lay in a meadow not far from the road. 

"Is that your dog?" asked Russ of a farm 
boy who came out to look at the automobile 
party. 

"Yes," was the answer. "And he's been 
barking around that log all morning. I guess 
maybe something's inside. Maybe a ground- 
hog is in there." 

"Oh, I'd love to see a groundhog !" exclaimed 
Rose. "Let's go up and look !" 

"All right," agreed Russ. "May we?" he 
asked his father, who was talking to the farmer 
while Captain Ben was oiling one of the springs. 



IN THE OLD LOG 141 

of the car where a squeak had sounded since 
they started. 

"Yes; but be careful," cautioned Mr. 
Bunker. "It may be a skunk instead of a 
groundhog that the dog is barking at." 

"Oh, I don't believe so," said the farm boy. 
"Come on!" he called to the Bunker children, 
and they approached the big log in the field. 

"It's hollow," said Russ, as they neared it. 

"Yes, it's been there a good many years," 
the farm boy said. "Sometimes, when my 
sister and I are playing hide and seek, I crawl 
in there. What's the matter, Towser?" he 
asked his dog, who was barking louder than 
ever. "What's in the log?" 

Russ stooped down and looked through it. 
He straightened up suddenly. 

"There is something in it," he said. "And 
it's something that wears shoes! I can see 
'em!" 



CHAPTER XV 

THE BUNKERS GET TOGETHER 

v/ 

Russ Bunker quickly drew back away from 
the end of the log after he had stooped down 
and had seen "something with shoes," as he 
said. 

"Maybe it's a bear !" said Vi. 

"Pooh! How could a bear wear shoes?" 
asked Laddie. 

"Well, I don't care !" exclaimed Vi. "I saw 
a bear in a circus once, and he wore roller 
skates. And if a bear can wear roller skates 
I guess a bear can wear shoes." 

"There aren't any bears around here," said 
the farm boy. "Let me take a look." 

He stooped down as Russ had done, and 
looked within the log for some little time, the 
dog, meanwhile, leaping around and barking. 

"Do you see anything?" asked Russ. 

"Yes, I do," answered the farm boy. "I see 

142 



THE BUNKERS GET TOGETHER 143 

something with shoes on, and I see two legs 
and I see " 

Just then there was a movement inside the 
log, the dog barked louder than ever, and then, 
from the other end of the fallen, hollow tree 
came — the missing boy Tad ! 

"Oh! Oh! Oh !" exclaimed Russ, Rose, and 
Laddie in turn. As for Vi, she had just 
opened her mouth to ask a question and she 
was so surprised that she forgot what it was, 
and she had no time to cry "Oh!" as did the 
others. 

As for Tad, he brushed off some of the dry, 
rotten wood that clung to his clothes, and then 
he stood looking at the four little Bunkers, at 
the farm boy, and at the dog. The dog went 
up, smelled of Tad's legs, and, seeming to count 
him as a friend, stopped barking. 

"How'd you get in there?" asked Russ. 

"I crawled in to rest and sleep," was the an- 
swer. "I'd been walking nearly all night, ex- 
cept I got a ride on a milk wagon part of the 
way." 

"What made you run away from Mr. 
Brown's?" asked Rose. 

"Oh, I was in a hurry to get — I just wanted 



144 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

to get away, and I didn't want to wait all night 
till you folks started in the morning," was the 
hesitating answer. "I was afraid maybe your 
auto wouldn't work, and I was in a hurry. So 
I started off by myself." 

"Didn't you go to bed ?" asked Rose. 

"No," answered Tad. 

Just then Daddy Bunker, who had finished 
his talk with the farmer, while Captain Ben 
was oiling the automobile spring, called : 

"Come, children! We must be moving!" 

"Look ! We found Tad !" cried Laddie. 

"In a hollow log!" added Vi. 

Mr. Bunker and Captain Ben, looking up 
and seeing the missing boy, hurried to the chil- 
dren. 

"So you thought you'd rather travel on by 
yourself, did you?" asked Daddy Bunker. 

"Yes, sir. I was in a hurry," was the an- 
swer. "I went up to the room where I was to 
sleep, but I got to thinking I could travel all 
night, on account of having so many good 
things to eat. So I sneaked out when nobody 
was looking, and I walked along. I got a ride 
part of the way on a milk wagon, and walked 
the rest. It was almost daylight when I got 



THE BUNKERS GET TOGETHER 145 

here, and I saw this hollow log, so I crawled 
in and went to sleep." 

Daddy Bunker walked closer to the tramp 
boy, for that is what he really seemed now. 

"Tad," said the children's father kindly, "I 
am going to ask you a question, but I don't 
want you to feel bad about it. This morning, 
when we awoke and found you gone, there was 
also something else missing from Mr. Brown's 
house. It was his wife's box of jewelry. Now, 
Tad " 

"I didn't take it! I didn't take a thing!" 
cried Tad earnestly. "I just went away by my- 
self because I was in a hurry to get to Avalon, 
and I was afraid maybe your auto would break 
down. I didn't take Mrs. Brown's jewelry! 
I never even saw it! I've been a bad boy in 
some ways," he went on, "but the only thing 
I took was some apples, and you saw me have 
them. And I wouldn't have taken them only 
I was so terribly hungry! I never stole any 
jewelry — honest I didn't!" 

He looked at Mr. Bunker with clear, bright 
eyes, and tears began to come into them. 

"Tad, I believe you," said Mr. Bunker. 

"So do I !" exclaimed Captain Ben. "I pre- 



146 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

sume it was those tramps, or one of them, who 
reached in the window and took the jewelry- 
box. I'm glad it was not you, Tad. And, now 
that we have found you and the auto is all right 
again, don't you want to ride with us the rest 
of the way ?" 

"Yes, thank you, I'd like to," was the an- 
swer. 

"Did you have any breakfast?" asked Vi. 
"We had some lovely pancakes at Mrs. 
Brown's." 

"No, I didn't have any," Tad answered. 

"My mother'll give you something," offered 
the farm boy. 

"I think we might all stop for lunch if your 
mother will sell us a meal," said Daddy Bunker. 

"Yes, she sometimes gets a meal for auto- 
ists," the boy answered. 

Soon the Bunker children, with the newly- 
found Tad, Daddy, and Captain Ben were sit- 
ting down to a nice lunch. 

"We've had a terrible lot of adventures 
since we started," said Rose, as she took a 
second piece of cake which the farmer's wife 
offered. 

"Yes," agreed Russ. "It's been a lot of 



THE BUNKERS GET TOGETHER 147 

fun — a heap sight more fun than going to 
school." 

"But you'll have to go to school when we 
get back from Captain Ben's," said Daddy 
Bunker. 

"That'll be a long while, and we'll have a 
lot of fun before we go," laughed Russ. 

"Did you think of any riddles when you slept 
out in that log all night?" asked Laddie of 
Tad, when it was time to start again. 

"No, I can't say I did," was the answer. 
"All I thought of was getting back to — back 
to Avalon, and I wondered where I'd get my 
breakfast. I didn't think I'd sleep until nearly 
noon. Now I've had my breakfast and dinner 
all in one," and he looked at his emptied plate. 

A little later the four little Bunkers, with 
Tad, Captain Ben and Daddy were on the road 
once more. All went well and they arrived at 
the seashore bungalow in Grand View without 
any more accidents. 

"Oh, Mother, I'm so glad to see you !" cried 
Rose, as the car came to a stop in front of 
Captain Ben's pretty summer home not far 
from the beach. 

"And I'm glad to see you, my darlings!" 



148 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

cried Mother Bunker. "It seems a week since 
I've had you. My, what a lot of things must 
have happened !" 

"They did — lots!" said Russ. "And, 
Mother, this is Tad, and he lives in Avalon." 

"And Mr. Brown thought he was a pesky 
apple boy but he wasn't," said Vi. "He only 
took a few 'cause he was hungry." 

"I wants an apple!" said Mun Bun, as he 
scampered around his brothers and sisters. 

"And I want two apples!" said Margy. 

Mrs. Bunker wanted Tad to stay to supper, 
but he said he had some relatives in Avalon, 
the next town, which could soon be reached by 
a trolley car. So he left, after thanking the 
Bunkers, and saying he would come over to 
see them soon. 

"There's something queer about that boy," 
said Mr. Bunker, when Tad had gone to the 
trolley station. "I believe he has run away 
from home and is anxious to get back." 

"Do you think he had anything to do with 
taking the jewelry?" asked his wife. 

"No," was the answer, "I do not. I believe 
the tramps took it." 

"You didn't find my wrist watch in any of 



THE BUNKERS GET TOGETHER 149 

the things you unpacked, did you ?" asked Cap- 
tain Ben of Mrs. Bunker. 

"No," was the answer, "I did not. It's too 
bad you had to lose it." 

There was a happy time when all the Bunk- 
ers were united again. 

"We'll all be bunked together to-night — the 
Bunkers will bunk together," said the chil- 
dren's mother, as she made up the beds, or 
"bunks," as Captain Ben called them. Before 
going to bed the children who had made the 
automobile trip told most of what had hap- 
pened during their journey from the time they 
were caught in the storm and were awakened 
by the sleep-walking Jack until they left Mr. 
Brown's. 

"What kind of a time did you have ?" asked 
Daddy Bunker of his wife. "You didn't lose 
Mun Bun or Margy on the way down here, 
that's sure." 

"No, we hadn't a bit of trouble," she said. 
"We got here in good time, though of course I 
missed you and the children." 

So the Bunkers were put in their bunks, and 
soon they were all asleep. It was some time 
past midnight, as they learned later, when Mr. 



150 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Bunker and Captain Ben heard a knock at the 
bungalow front door. 

"Hello, who's there?" called the captain, 
turning on the electric light, for his bungalow 
was almost like a city home in some respects. 
"Who's there and what do you want?" asked 
the marine. 

"Maybe it's tramps," said Laddie to Russ, 
with whom he was sleeping. The two boys had 
been awakened by the knock. 

"Tramps wouldn't knock," Russ said. "May- 
be it's a telegram, or maybe somebody is lost 
and wants to know the way." 

Russ heard Captain Ben get up and go to 
the door. 

"Who's there?" asked the marine again. 

"Have you seen anything of a boy named 
Tad Munson?" was the question asked. "I 
heard he came on with you in an auto, and I'm 
looking for him. Have you seen Tad Mun- 
son?" 



CHAPTER XVI 



AN UNEXPECTED RIDE 



Mother and Daddy Bunker, who with 
Laddie, Russ and Rose, had also been awak- 
ened by the knock on the bungalow door, 
heard Captain Ben quickly open the door when 
that question came. 

"Tad Munson!" exclaimed the captain. 
"He was with us this evening. He stayed here 
to supper and got on a trolley car to go to some 
relatives in Avalon, he said. Who are you?" 
went on the captain, and those who were lis- 
tening heard some one come into the bungalow 
from outside. 

"I'm Tao'f: father," was the answer. "I've 
been looking for him some time, and to-night 
I heard he was seen over here in Grand View. 
I traced him to you folks, but now you tell me 
he's gone again." 

"Yes, he started for Avalon," went on Cap- 



151 



152 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

tain Ben, while Russ, who was listening, won- 
dered how it felt to be away from your home 
and all one's family. 

"Well, if Tad started for home he never got 
there — at least he hadn't when I left, about 
two hours ago," said Mr. Munson. "Poor, 
foolish boy ! I feel sorry for him !" 

"Did he run away from horns ?" asked Cap- 
tain Ben. 

By this time Mr. Bunker had got up, slipped 
on a bath robe, and was now with the two 
other men. Russ, Rose, Laddie and their 
mother still listened to the talk, which could 
plainly be heard. Vi, Mun Bun and Margy 
were sound asleep in their beds. 

"Yes, Tad ran away," said Mr. Munson. 
"He was a little bad, but not very, and I said 
I'd have to punish him. I wasn't going to whip 
him, or anything like that, but I was going 
to take his bicycle away from him and not let 
him ride it for a week. But he is a foolish, 
quick-tempered boy, and he didn't wait to see 
what I was going to do. He just rode off on 
his wheel, and I haven't seen him nor heard 
from him since." 

"But he started for home," said Daddy 



AN UNEXPECTED RIDE 153 

Bunker. "We brought him as far as here, 
and he said he could go the rest of the way on 
the trolley car." 

"Didn't he have his bicycle?" asked Mr. 
Munson. 

"No, he was on foot when we first saw him 
in a farmer's apple orchard," Captain Ben an- 
swered. 

"Then he must have sold his wheel to get 
money to live on," remarked Tad's father. 
"And, I suppose, after he started back home, 
and perhaps even got on the trolley car, he 
was afraid to come back on account of not 
having his bicycle. So he must have run away 
again." 

"That's too bad!" exclaimed Captain Ben. 
"How did you come to learn he had been with 
us?" he asked Mr. Munson. 

"Oh, I've been searching for my boy ever 
since he ran away," answered Tad's father. 
"I come over here to Grand View every day 
to make inquiries. This evening I heard that 
my boy had been seen in an automobile. I 
made inquiries, and learned you were the only 
folks who had come to town in an auto with 
some children, so I came here as soon as I 



154 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

could. I'm sorry I had to wake you up in the 
middle of the night." 

"Oh, that's all right," said Captain Ben. 
"I'm sorry about your boy. If I had known 
he felt afraid to go home alone, I'd have taken 
him over in my car." 

"Maybe he'll come back in the morning, 
after he spends another night alone," said the 
father. "Tad is a queer boy. I don't exactly 
understand him, I feel sometimes. Well, if he 
isn't here I suppose I might as well go back 
home." 

"I'm sorry," said Captain Ben. "Won't you 
stay the rest of the night, it's so late?" 

"No, I'd better get back," was the answer. 
"If you see anything of my boy just send him 
back home and say I'll forget and forgive 
everything." 

"We will," promised Daddy Bunker. "I 
think he may be hiding out around here some- 
where, as we found him hiding in the hollow 

log." 

"Did he do that?" asked Mr. Munson. 

"Yes," answered Mr. Bunker, and he and 
Captain Ben told all they knew about the run- 
away boy. Then Mr. Munson left, the three 



AN UNEXPECTED. RIDE 155 

little Bunkers who had awakened to listen to 
the talk went to sleep again, and the bungalow 
was quiet once more. 

"Did you find Tad?" asked Laddie, as soon 
as he was up next morning. 

"Oh, ho, you little tykes! So you were 
awake, were you?" asked their father, with a 
laugh, as he pulled Vi's hair playfully. "No, 
poor Tad doesn't seem to be around here, but 
I think he'll be all right." 

"And you mustn't worry about him and 
spoil your extra vacation at my place," said 
Captain Ben. "You came to Grand View to 
have a good time, and I came to forget about 
the war. I want you to be as happy as you 
can. Come along, as soon as you've had break- 
fast, and we'll go out on the water." 

"Oh, it's just a lovely place here !" exclaimed 
Rose, as she looked from the window. "Are 
all those your boats there?" and she pointed to 
several craft floating near a dock that extended 
out into a small bay. 

"Not all of them," said Captain Ben. "I 
have a motor boat and two rowboats. I'm 
going to take you for a motor-boat ride this 
morning." 



156 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"That'll be fun!" cried Laddie. 

"Well, be ready to start in half an hour," 
went on Captain Ben, and he thrust out his 
arm and glanced down at his wrist. "There I 
go again!" he exclaimed. "Looking for my 
watch that's lost! I don't seem to get used to 
being without it." 

"It is too bad," said Mother Bunker. "I did 
hope I might find it among the things when 
I unpacked, but it wasn't there." 

"Oh, never mind," and Captain Ben laughed, 
trying to show that he did not feel bad. "We 
won't worry about it any more than we'll worry 
about Tad. Thev may both turn up together 
some day." 

"And maybe we'll find Mrs. Brown's 
jewelry," added Russ. 

"Not much chance of that," remarked his 
father. "I imagine the tramps took the box 
of rings and other things, and Mrs. Brown will 
never see them again." 

"Oh, that's too bad!" exclaimed Mrs. 
Bunker, who knew how Mrs. Brown must feel 
at losing her keepsakes. 

But, as Captain Ben had said, the grown 
folks did not want the six little Bunkers to 



AN UNEXPECTED RIDE 157 

worry over matters which could not be helped, 
and so spoil their late vacation. 

"May we go down and play on the beach 
while we're waiting for Captain Ben to take us 
out in the motor boat?" asked Rose of her 
mother, when breakfast was finished. 

"Yes," was the answer. "And look after 
Mun Bun and Margy. I think they'll be care- 
ful, but watch them just the same." 

Rose promised, and soon the six little 
Bunkers were shouting and laughing on the 
sands of the bay which came up almost to Cap- 
tain Ben's bungalow at Grand View. The 
bungalow stood on a little hill, at the foot of 
which was the water. This water was the 
bay, and, farther out, was the big ocean. On 
the bay were many boats, for it was a place 
of shelter during storms. Not far from the 
bungalow was a pier that extended out into 
the water, and the captain's rowboats, motor 
boat, as well as the boats belonging to several 
other bungalow and cottage owners, were tied 
near by. 

"I think this is the loveliest place!" ex- 
claimed Rose, as she sat down on the sand and 
looked out across the water. 



158 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Yes, it's dandy," replied Russ. "And this 
is the nicest part of the year. I'm glad we 
don't have to go back to school right away." 

"Can I make some sand pies?" asked Mun 
Bun, coming up to Rose with some shells in 
his hand. 

"Yes, make all you want, but don't get wet," 
Rose warned him. 

"I'm going to make pies, too," said Margy, 
and soon the two youngest children were busy 
playing in the sand. 

Russ walked up and down the beach looking 
for odd shells, for he had started to make a 
collection of them. Rose remained on the 
sand, watching some men who were working 
on a motor boat. She saw that Mun Bun and 
Margy were all right, and the last she had 
heard from Laddie and Vi was when Laddie 
was trying to guess the answer to a riddle 
about seaweed. It was a riddle which Laddie 
had made up himself, and perhaps it was not 
as easy as some other riddle would have been. 

At any rate, Laddie and Vi were talking 
about this riddle the last Rose heard them. 
She was thinking how nice it was to be 
at Grand View, and she was wondering if 



AN UNEXPECTED RIDE 159 

Captain Ben would ever find his lost watch 
when she was suddenly startled by a scream. 
That it came from one of the little Bunkers 
Rose knew at once, and her first glance was 
toward Mun Bun and Margy. They were still 
playing quietly on the sand. 

Rose next looked for Laddie and Violet and, 
to her surprise, she saw them in a rowboat 
some distance from shore, and the rowboat was 
being pulled along by the motor craft on which 
the men had been working. Most unexpectedly 
Laddie and Vi were being ridden out on the 
broad bay! 

"Oh, come back! Come back!" cried Rose, 
springing to her feet and waving her hands to 
her brother and sister. "Come back here!" 

"We can't! We can't come back!" cried 
Laddie, and then he and Vi fell down in a 
huddled heap in the middle of the rowboat 
which was being pulled rapidly along by the 
motor boat. 



CHAPTER XVII 



THE RAGGED MEN 



Russ Bunker, who had been walking along 
the shore gathering pretty shells, looked back 
as he heard Rose scream. 

"What's the matter?" shouted Russ. Rose 
pointed to the rowboat out in the middle of 
the bay, in which could be seen Vi and Laddie. 
The two small Bunkers were clinging to one 
another, and were still being towed, in their 
boat, by the motor craft. They were not so 
very far from shore, but far enough to cause 
them to be frightened, and also to frighten 
Rose and Russ. As for Mun Bun and Margy, 
they were too small to be really worried, 
though they wondered why Laddie and Vi had 
gone off in a boat by themselves, especially hav- 
ing a motor boat pull them along. 

And this was just what Rose and Russ were 
also wondering. Russ ran back to Rose. 

160 



THE RAGGED MEN 161 

"What made them go off in a boat like that ?" 
asked Russ. 

"I don't know," Rose answered. "I thought 
they were all right, and then, when I looked 
again, I saw them there. And they want to 
come back, but they can't !" 

"Oh, maybe the men in the motor boat are 
taking them away !" Russ exclaimed, for there 
were two men in the boat that was towing the 
smaller craft. But these men did not seem to 
be paying any attention to the two children in 
the rowboat behind them. The two men were 
up in the front of their craft, and appeared 
to be working at the stearing wheel. 

"Come back! Come back!" cried Russ, 
holding his hand to his mouth to make a sort 
of funnel, or megaphone, as he had often seen 
the fishermen do, and also the cowboys on 
Uncle Fred's ranch. 

Across the water came faintly to the ears 
of Rose and Russ the sobs and cries of Laddie 
and Vi in the rowboat. 

"Those men are taking 'em away!" cried 
Rose. "What shall we do?" 

Just then Captain Ben and Daddy Bunker 
came down from the bungalow, up on the hill, 



162 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

to the beach where the children had gone to 
play. At once the two men saw that some- 
thing was the matter. Then they noticed the 
two little Bunkers out in the boat. 

"Who let them go?" cried Daddy Bunker. 

"Nobody let them go," said Russ. "Those 
men are taking them away!" 

Captain Ben laughed when he heard this. 

"Those men in the motor boat are friends 
of mine," he said. "They are trying their 
boat, after having fixed it, and I guess Laddie 
and Vi asked them for a ride and they're get- 
ting a tow." 

But just as Captain Ben said this the two 
men who had been in the front part, or bow, 
of the motor boat, turned around, and seemed, 
for the first time, to become aware that they 
were towing a rowboat with two children in it. 
One man called to the other, and then the two 
of them walked back to the stern, where the 
rope of the rowboat was fastened. Then the 
motor boat went more slowly. 

"I see how it is," said Captain Ben. "When 
Mr. Thompson and Mr. Wade were in their 
boat, fixing it, Laddie and Vi must have come 
up at the stern, making no noise. The chil- 



THE RAGGED MEN 163 

dren fastened their rowboat to the motor boat 
and were taken for a ride before they knew it. 
This is the first my friends knew they had chil- 
dren towing behind them." 

This part, at least, seemed to be true, and 
those on shore could see the two men in the 
motor boat lifting Laddie and Vi out of the 
small craft into the larger one. Then the 
motor boat was headed toward shore, and the 
two little Bunkers were soon with the rest of 
the family. 

"We gave them a ride without knowing it," 
said Mr. Thompson, when Laddie and Vi were 
over their fright at being carried off, as they 
thought. 

"What made you fasten your boat to the 
motor boat, and why did you get in the row- 
boat at all?" asked Daddy Bunker, a bit 
sternly. 

"We just wanted to sit in the boat a minute," 
explained Laddie. "I was trying to think of 
a riddle about a boat, and I thought maybe I 
could think of a better one if I got in one, and 
so did Vi, and then we got a ride and we got 
scared." 

"Did you get into a boat and row out to 



164 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

the motor boat?" asked their father, in sur- 
prise. 

"I'll tell you how it must have happened," 
said Mr. Wade. "This boat tied to the stern 
of the motor craft is ours. We kept it tied so 
we could row back and forth while we were 
fixing our big boat. We pulled up our anchor 
to get ready to take a trial ride, and our row- 
boat must have swung in near the dock. Then 
the children must have got in when we weren't 
looking, and we started off. Our engine made 
so much noise that we didn't hear their cries 
or the shouts of the children on shore, for both 
Mr. Thompson and I were up forward fixing 
the steering wheel." 

"Is that how it happened?" asked Captain 
Ben of Laddie. 

"Yes," answered the little boy. "We got in 
the little boat and it was fast with a rope to 
the big boat, and then we began to move, and 
I couldn't think of any riddle at all." 

"Well, you'd better keep out of boats unless 
your mother or I or Captain Ben is with you," 
said Daddy Bunker, and the children promised. 

"Now I'll take you all for a ride in my motor 
boat," offered Captain Ben, when the excite- 



THE RAGGED MEN 165 

ment had quieted down. "We'll take a trip 
around the bay." 

Mother Bunker put up a lunch for the chil- 
dren, and they were soon in Captain Ben's big 
motor boat, speeding over the blue waters of 
the bay. Daddy and Mother Bunker also went 
ale:. 

"Are there any nice places to have picnics 
here?" asked Rose of the captain, as she sat 
near him at the steering wheel. 

"Oh, yes, lots of places," he answered. 
"There are some cute little islands in the bay, 
and we'll go camping on one some day." 

"That will be lovely !" exclaimed Rose. 

Laddie was so interested in watching the 
water slip along at the side of the swift motor 
boat that he forgot about his riddle, though 
Vi did not forget to ask questions, and finally 
her mother said: 

"Here, take that!" 

The "that" was a molasses cookie, and in 
munching it Vi forgot about the questions for 
a time. Or rather, her mouth was too full to 
ask any. 

The merry party went ashore after about an 
hour's ride, the captain steering the boat into 



166 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

a little cove, and back from the sandy shore a 
little way was a clump of trees. 

"Are we going to eat our lunch in there?" 
asked Rose. 

"Yes," her mother answered, and soon they 
had spread out their picnic lunch. 

"We'll have a picnic like this on an island 
some day," promised Captain Ben. 

"And shall we have more to eat?" asked 
Russ. 

"Why, isn't there enough here?" his father 
inquired, with a laugh. 

"Oh, there's enough for now," Russ an- 
swered. "But if we go to an island we could 
pretend we were shipwrecked, and then we'd 
be hungry and want a lot to eat." 

While the captain and Daddy and Mother 
Bunker sat under the shade of the trees and 
talked, the four older Bunker children wan- 
dered around the little grove, after having 
eaten the "snack," as the marine had called it. 
Mun Bun and Margy stayed near their 
mother. 

Russ was digging away in the soft earth, 
to get a queer-looking stone which he wanted 
to add to his collection of shells, and Rose was 



THE RAGGED MEN 167 

watching some ants which were busily at work, 
when suddenly Laddie, who had wandered off 
down a little path, came running back, with Vi 
just ahead of him. Rose at once saw that 
something was the matter. 

"What is it, Laddie? Did you see a snake?" 
she asked. 

The little fellow, who was out of breath, 
shook his head. 

"Nope! I didn't see — a snake," he an- 
swered. "But I saw — a lot — of ragged men — 
hiding in the bushes, and Vi saw 'em too. 
Didn't you, Vi ? A lot of ragged men !" 

"Were they tramps?" asked Rose quickly, 
as she took hold of Vi's hand. 

"I guess so," Laddie answered. "They were 
terribly ragged men ! I'm going back to daddy 
and mother!" he added. 



CHAPTER XVIII 



MORE THINGS GONE 



Rose Bunker gave one look toward the 
thick clump of trees, through which wound a 
path, along which Laddie and Vi had gone for 
a little distance. 

"Come on!" exclaimed Rose, taking her 
small brother and sister by their hands. "We'll 
all go back to daddy and mother." 

Russ, who was still looking for stones, and 
any other curious things he could pick up, 
glanced toward the other three Bunkers. 

"Where are you going?" Russ wanted to 
know. 

"Back home. I mean back to daddy, mother 
and Captain Ben," explained Rose. 

"What for?" 

"'Cause I saw a lot of ragged men in the 
bushes," answered Laddie. "They were awful 

168 



MORE THINGS GONE »0 

ragged, and they had a fire, and some of 'em 
were asleep, and " 

"Tramps!" exclaimed Russ, and he started 
toward the path, down which Laddie had 
pointed as leading to the place where he had 
seen the tramps. "I'm going to look at 'em!" 

"No, you're not !" cried Rose. "You're com- 
ing right back with us, Russ Bunker, or I'll tell 
father on you!" and she spoke in a low but 
very earnest voice. Russ looked at her a 
moment, and then at the dark clump of trees. 

"Yes, I guess I'll go back with you," he said. 
"I'll take you back, and then daddy and Cap- 
tain Ben and I will come back here and drive 
the tramps away." 

"Daddy won't let you," said Rose; and, in 
his heart, Russ believed his sister was right. 

"Come on!" exclaimed Vi. "I don't want 
any of the ragged men to get me." 

"Oh, they won't get you. See ! Daddy and 
mother and Captain Ben are right down there," 
and Rose pointed to where the others of the 
picnic party could be seen in the grove on the 
beach. 

"My! What's the matter? Did you see a 
cow?" asked Captain Ben, with a smile, when 



170 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

the four children came hurrying back from 
their excursion. 

"I saw some ragged men !" exclaimed Laddie. 

"I saw 'em too — and I don't like 'em! They 
were tramps !" declared Vi. "And maybe they 
were the same tramps that took Mrs. Brown's 
jewelry." 

"Oh, I hardly think so," said Mrs. Bunker. 
But daddy and Captain Ben looked at each 
other, and then both men rose quickly to their 
feet. 

"Tramps, eh?" said Captain Ben in a low 
voice. "We don't want any such around here. 
And I don't believe the other cottagers know 
it. Let's go and take a look," he said to Mr. 
Bunker. 

"Can't I come?" asked Russ. 

"No, you stay with mother," his father an- 
swered. 

"There ! I told you they wouldn't let you !" 
exclaimed Rose. 

"Well, I don't care. Maybe some tramps 
will come here, and I can drive 'em away," 
declared Russ. "I'm going to get a lot of 
stones to throw at 'em !" 

"You. won't need to!" laughed his mother. 



MORE THINGS GONE 171 

"No tramps will come here, and it may have 
been only some fishermen you saw. Fisher- 
men sometimes wear ragged clothes." 

"These weren't fishermen, 'cause they didn't 
have any fishes," declared Laddie. 

"Maybe they didn't have any luck, or else 
perhaps they hadn't yet gone fishing," his 
mother answered. "Anyhow, we'll leave the 
tramps, if such they were, to daddy and Cap- 
tain Ben. And it will soon be time for us to 
get back to the bungalow." 

"Is there anything more to eat?" Russ 
wanted to know. 

"Not even some cookie crumbs," said his 
mother. "I threw them to the birds and squir- 
rels. But when we go on the picnic to the 
island we'll take more lunch along." 

"I hope we do," sighed Russ, " 'cause I'm 
hungry right now." 

The children sat around their mother while 
daddy and Captain Ben walked toward the 
grove where Laddie had seen the tramps. 

"Do you suppose they could be the same ones 
who took Mrs. Brown's things, Mother?" asked 
Rose. 

"They might be," her mother replied. 



172 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Though Mr. Brown's farm is some distance 
from here and I don't see how the tramps could 
arrive here so soon." 

"They could if they had an auto like Captain 
Ben's,'" said Laddie. 

"Pooh ! Tramps don't have autos. Do they, 
Mother?" scoffed Vi. 

"Not very often, I imagine," was the an- 
swer. "But don't think about the ragged men 
any more." 

"Do you think they could have taken Cap- 
tain Ben's watch?" persisted Laddie. 

"No, of course not!" his mother quickly re- 
plied. "Captain Ben's watch was lost some- 
where near our house, and that's almost a hun- 
dred miles from here. Besides, there were no 
tramps there." 

"Well, anyhow, maybe the tramps took Tad 
Munson," suggested Laddie, who seemed 
bound to have the ragged men up to some mis- 
chief. 

"No, poor Tad ran away by himself," Mrs. 
Bunker answered. "I feel very sorry for him, 
and I hope he is safe at home again by this 
time. We must go over to Avalon some day 
and find out." 



MORE THINGS GONE 173 

A little later Captain Ben and Daddy Bunker 
came back. 

"Did you catch 'em?" asked Russ eagerly. 

"No, they had gone. I guess you children 
scared them away," replied the marine. 

"Were there really tramps there?" asked 
Mrs. Bunker. 

"Yes, we found a place where they had made 
a sort of camp," was the answer of her hus- 
band. "They had built a fire and had been 
cooking something in empty tomato cans. 
Whether they took alarm as we approached, or 
left because they heard the children talking, I 
don't know; but the place was deserted." 

"I'm glad our bungalow isn't near here," 
said Mrs. Bunker. 

"Yes, I don't like tramps myself," remarked 
Captain Ben. "I'll tell the police of this place, 
and have them watch. Lots of cottagers and 
bungalow owners will soon be leaving and clos- 
ing their places for the winter, and it is then 
that tramps often break in and take things. 
The police must be told, and they will be on the 
watch." 

The six little Bunkers, with their father, 
mother, and Captain Ben, were soon in the 



174 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

motor boat again and on their way to the bun- 
galow. The children talked so much about 
the ragged men, or the tramps, as they called 
them, that at length Mrs. Bunker said very 
firmly: 

"Now, my dears, please stop! First you 
know you'll be dreaming about these poor men, 
and then, perhaps, some of you will walk in 
your sleep, as the little River boy did." 

"It must be fun to walk in your sleep!" 
laughed Laddie. 

"You did it once, when you were smaller," 
said his father. 

"I did!" cried Laddie. "Did I do anything 
funny ?" 

"Yes," went on Mr. Bunker, laughing. "It 
was in the winter, and mother had just got you 
a new pair of red mittens. You had played 
out in the snow with them, and after supper 
you put them behind the stove in the kitchen 
to dry. 

"Then you went to bed, but later in the even- 
ing, when Norah was fixing the fire for the 
night, you came tramping down the back 
stairs. You frightened Nora, and when she 
asked you what you wanted you didn't say a 



MORE THINGS GONE 175 

word. You just took your little red mittens 
and carried them back up the stairs to bed with 
you." 

"I did!" exclaimed Laddie. "I never knew 
it." 

"No, when a person walks in his sleep he 
generally doesn't know what he is doing," his 
father concluded. 

That evening Captain Ben gave the children 
a box of marshmallow candies, and they had 
a fire on the beach to roast them. The chil- 
dren thought this was great fun. 

The sailor had cut long sticks for the chil- 
dren. The sticks were sharply pointed on one 
end, and when the fire had burned down, so 
there was a good bed of hot, glowing coals, 
Mother Bunker said : 

"Now each of you put a marshmallow on 
the sharp end of your sticks and hold it over 
the coals. Be careful not to hold them too 
close, and don't let the candies catch fire, as 
they sometimes do if you are not careful." 

"I know how, 'cause I've roasted marsh- 
mallows before," said Rose. 

"So've I. And once my candy caught fire," 
remarked Russ. 



176 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Oh, look at mine blaze!" suddenly cried 
Laddie. 

"Take it away from the fire, and blow out 
the blaze!" Captain Ben called. "Burned 
candies aren't good to eat." 

Laddie tried to do as he was told, but he got 
so excited that his father had to blow for him. 
After that Laddie was more careful. Mother 
helped Mun Bun and Margy to roast their 
marshmallows, and soon they were all eating 
the dainties, seated on flat pieces of drift- 
wood gathered along the beach. 

The moon rose out of the sea, as it appeared, 
and the view was a beautiful one. Then Rose 
started a song, and they all joined in the 
chorus, while Russ whistled — but first, he had 
to swallow a marshmallow he was chewing. 

"Oh, I just love it here," said Rose, when the 
song was finished. 

"Yes, Captain Ben was very good to ask us 
to his seashore bungalow," said Daddy Bunker. 

"Oh, I'm having just as much fun out of it 
as you folks !" declared the marine. "I wanted 
a jolly crowd here with me to help me forget 
about the war." 

They sang more songs, Captain Ben told 



MORE THINGS GONE 177 

some funny stories, Laddie asked one or two 
riddles, and I am afraid to say just how many 
questions Vi asked, but it was a large number. 
Finally Mother Bunker said: 

"It's time we went in, I think. Mun Bun 
and Margy are almost asleep. Come, Mun 
Bun," she called to the little boy. "Time you 
were in by-low land." 

"Yes, I want to go to bed," murmured Mun 
Bun, who was really almost asleep. He tried 
to get up on his feet, off the broad, flat board 
on which he had been sitting on the sand while 
the marshmallows were being roasted, but it 
seemed as though he could not stand up. 

"Come, Mun Bun!" called his mother. 
"Come along!" 

"I — I can't come!" the little fellow an- 
swered. "I can't stand on my legs." 

"What's the matter? Is your foot asleep?" 
asked his father. You know that sometimes 
happens if you sit with your legs cramped. 

"No, it isn't my feet, but I just can't get 
up," went on Mun Bun. "I guess I'm sewed 
fast to the board." 

"Sewed fast to the board !" cried his mother. 
"What does the child mean ?" 



178 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"I'm fast !" went on Mun Bun, and when he 
did manage to stand up the board, on which 
he had been sitting, came up with him, fast to 
the seat of his little trousers. 

"Oh, it must be caught on a nail !" said Rose. 
"You've sat on a nail, Mun Bun !" 

"No, I didn't sit on a nail," said the little 
fellow. "But I guess it's something else. It's 
soft and sticky!" 

His mother hurried over toward him. By 
the light of the beach fire she looked him over. 

"Why, Mun Bun!" cried Mrs. Bunker, 
"you've sat in a lot of the marshmallow can- 
dies, and that's why the board is sticking fast 
to you. Look !" She pulled the piece of drift 
wood loose from the little fellow's trousers. A 
wad of candy came with it. 

"Well, I thought it was something funny," 
said Mun Bun, as the others laughed. "I put 
some of my candies on the board and then I 
forgot 'em, and I just squashed myself down 
on top of 'em, didn't I ?" he asked. 

"You surely did!" laughed his father. 

However, not much damage was done, as 
Mun Bun's trousers were the kind that could 
be washed. So after the laughter was over 



MORE THINGS GONE 179 

and the fire had been put out, so no embers 
would scatter in the night and cause a blaze, 
the party strolled up to the bungalow and went 
to bed, crawling into the bunks which Captain 
Ben had built like those on a ship. 

Laddie rather hoped he might walk in his 
sleep again, but he did not. The night passed 
quietly, but when Rose and Russ, who were 
the first of the children up, came downstairs 
they saw their father, mother and Captain Ben 
out on the porch. The marine was rather ex- 
cited. 

"I was afraid something like this would 
happen after I heard about the tramps," he 
said. 

"What has happened?" asked Russ. 

"A number of things have been taken from 
Captain Ben's dock," explained Daddy Bunker. 
"There have been thieves here in the night, and 
a lot of things are gone." 

"Most of all I miss my boat," said the 
marine. "They took that, too !" 



CHAPTER XIX 



LOTS OF FUN 



"Did the bad tramps take your motor boat?" 
asked Rose quickly, as she saw visions of the 
many nice rides she hoped to have in the Spray, 
as the captain's splendid boat was called, fade 
away. 

"No, they didn't take the motor boat," an- 
swered the marine. "I take good care to lock 
that every night, and I fix the motor so no one 
not in the secret can start it. But the tramps, 
or whoever they were who paid us a midnight 
visit, took one of my best rowboats — one I 
use when I go fishing." 

"Oh, may we go fishing?" asked Vi, who, 
with Laddie and the two little ones, had now 
come down. The thefts of the midnight 
visitors did not trouble her very much, it 
seemed. 

"Yes, we'll go picnicking and fishing and 

180 



LOTS OF FUN 181 

have lots of fun," Captain Ben answered. 
"But first I must see if any one else around 
here has missed anything, and we must try to 
catch the tramps." 

"Do you think it was tramps?" Laddie 
wanted to know. 

"Well, I can't be sure of the last," remarked 
Captain Ben. "But I'm pretty sure it was 
tramps of some sort. As I said, they gen- 
erally come around at the end of the season, 
when cottages and bungalows are being closed. 
They take anything they can find. But these 
fellows didn't wait for us to leave." 

Captain Ben had a talk with some of his 
neighbors, who also missed various articles 
from around their cottages or docks, but the 
captain was the only one from whom a boat 
had been taken. 

"I guess the tramps walked around the shore 
from their camp in the woods," remarked 
Daddy Bunker. "They took what they wanted 
here, and elsewhere, and then they rowed off 
in your boat, Ben." 

"I guess that was it," remarked the marine. 
"I should have locked up the oars, but I left 
one pair out, and now I wish I hadn't. But 



182 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

I'll not let those tramps get away if I can help 
it." 

"What will you do?" asked Russ. 

"I'll take after 'em !" the captain said. "Now 
we know where they have their camp in the 
woods, we know where to find them." 

"May I come and help you catch 'em?" 
begged the oldest of the six little Bunkers. 

"No, indeed !" laughed his father. "Chasing 
after tramps isn't the same as roasting marsh- 
mallows." 

"Well, I'd like to come," Russ continued 
wistfully. "I could stand back and throw 
stones at 'em, while you and Captain Ben 
caught 'em. Please let me come!" 

But of course this could not be, and when 
the six little Bunkers had been taken for a 
walk by their mother, Mr. Bunker, Captain 
Ben and some other men started to search for 
the tramps who had taken the rowboat. 

Russ, Rose and the others had lots of fun. 
They played in the sand, waded in the water, 
and, after their father and Captain Ben had 
come back, the captain said they might go 
crabbing. 

"Did you get the tramps?" asked Russ, as 



LOTS OF FUN 183 

he saw the Spray come gliding up to Captain 
Ben's dock. 

"No, we couldn't even get sight of them," 
was the answer. "I guess they have gone for 
good. Don't worry about them. I have an- 
other rowboat, though I am sorry to lose that 
one." 

"You're losing lots of things," commented 
Rose. "First you lose your wrist watch and 
now your boat is gone." 

"I'd rather have that watch back than three 
boats," the captain declared. "But now, little 
Bunkers, we'll have some fun. We'll go crab- 
bing from the end of the pier." 

Crabs were plentiful in that part of the bay 
near the captain's bungalow, and soon even 
Margy and Mun Bun were trying to catch the 
creatures which had such big, pinching claws. 
Of course Mrs. Bunker helped her two little 
children, but Russ and Rose and Vi and Laddie 
had crabbed before, and knew all about that 
sport. 

Each of the six little Bunkers was given a 
string with a piece of meat or a fish head on 
the end. This bait was dropped into the water 
at the side of the pier. 



184 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Pretty soon the crabs, crawling along on the 
bottom or swimming half way toward the sur- 
face, saw or smelled the bait. They went up 
to it and grasped it in their big claws, holding 
fast with one, while they picked off bits of 
meat with the other large claw. 

"Oh, I got one !" suddenly whispered Laddie. 
"I got one!" 

"Pull up easy!" his father said. Mr. 
Bunker had a long-handled net. Catching 
crabs is not like catching fish. There is no 
hook for the crab to bite on and be held fast. 
He only holds by his claws, and if the bait is 
lifted too far out of the water the crab drops 
off. That is why Daddy Bunker had a net 
ready. 

"Lift your string slowly," said Laddie's 
father, and the little boy did this. Inch by inch 
the string came up, and Laddie, looking down, 
could see the crab clinging by his claws to the 
chunk of meat. 

"He's a big blue-clawed one!" exclaimed 
Laddie. 

"Careful now," said Daddy Bunker. "Care- 
ful!" 

He slipped the net down into the water, 



LOTS OF FUN 18* 

working it under the crab, which was eating 
away at Laddie's bait, not thinking of the 
danger of being caught. 

Suddenly Daddy Bunker swooped with the 
net, dipped it and raised it again from the 
water. Something wiggled in the net. 

"Did you get him?" shouted Laddie. "Oh, 
did you get him ?" 

"I did ; and he's a dandy big one S" his father 
answered. In the net was the great crab, 
clashing his blue claws together. He had let 
go of the meat now, and was much surprised 
at being disturbed at his meal in this fashion. 

Laddie lifted the meat from the net by rais- 
ing the string, and then Daddy Bunker turned 
the net upside down over a basket. Out fell 
the crab, scuttling into a corner of the basket. 

There he sat, with his two claws held up, 
jeady to pinch any one who might put his 
fingers too near him. But no one did this. 
Some wet seaweed was put over the crab, and 
Laddie tossed back into the water his bait and 
string, to wait for another crab. After that 
every one had good luck, even Mun Bun and 
Margy. Their mother helped them pull up 
their crabs off the bottom, and Daddy Bunker 



186 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

scooped them into the net. Russ, Rose and 
Violet also caught a number of crabs, and 
when the basket was full they stopped fishing. 

"No use catching any more than we need to 
make salad of," said Mother Bunker. 

"I don't want any crab salad," said Mun 
Bun, shaking his head. 

"Well, it isn't good for little boys, any- 
how," said Captain Ben. "But why don't you 
want any?" 

"I don't want to be pinched !" said Mun Bun. 

"Oh, he thinks the crabs are alive, with their 
claws, in the salad," laughed Vi. "Why, silly, 
they take the crabs claws off before they eat 
'em," she said. 

"Well, maybe they might forget and leave 
one claw on, and that would pinch me if I ate 
some, but I'm not going to," and Mun Bun 
shook his head very decidedly. 

The crabs clashed their claws and frothed 
at the mouths as they were carried in a basket 
up to the bungalow where Mother Bunker 
boiled them. Then the meat was picked out, 
as though the crabs were nuts, and a nice salad 
was made. 

This was only one of the jolly days, full of 



LOTS OF FUN 187 

fun, that the six little Bunkers enjoyed at Cap- 
tain Ben's. There seemed to be something 
new to do every time the sun rose. Nothing 
more was heard of the tramps, though the con- 
stables, or policemen, tried to find the ragged 
men and get back the captain's boat. 

More than once Russ or Rose would wonder 
if that runaway boy, Tad Munson, ever 
reached his home in Avalon. But there was 
no chance to find out, though Mr. Bunker said 
he was going over some day and ask. 

Though the days were shorter now that fall 
was at hand than they had been in the summer 
time, when the six little Bunkers were at Uncle 
Fred's, there was still plenty of time for fun. 
Sometimes Captain Ben took the whole party 
off on a fishing trip in his motor boat, and 
again they would walk through the woods, tak- 
ing their lunches in boxes and baskets. 

Letters came from Norah and Jerry Simms, 
saying that all was well at home, but no trace 
was found of Captain Ben's watch. 

One day when it had rained so hard in the 
morning that the six little Bunkers had to stay 
in the bungalow, it cleared in the afternoon. 
Mrs. Bunker let the children go out to play, 



188 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

telling them not to get in any boats and not to 
go far away from the house. 

She was busy writing letters, and she was 
just beginning to wonder if the children were 
all right, when suddenly Rose came rushing 
in, her eyes shining with excitement. 

"Oh, Mother !" cried Rose, "Laddie's in and 
he can't get out. Laddie's in and he can't get 
out, and he's being picked to pieces! You'd 
better come quick!" 



CHAPTER XX 



THE FLOOD 



"Rose! what are you saying?" cried Mrs. 
Bunker, jumping up out of her chair and start- 
ing toward the door of the bungalow. 

"You'd better come and get him out, 
Mother ! He's in and he can't get out himself, 
and he's being picked all to pieces, and Mun 
Bun and Margy are crying and — and " 

Rose had to stop just here, as she was all out 
of breath. 

"What has happened, Rose?" Mrs. Bunker, 
herself somewhat ' breathless, demanded. 
"What has Laddie fallen into ? Where is he ?" 

"He's in — but you'd better come and get him 
out! He's got a stick, but it isn't much good, 
and he's being picked and " 

"Being picked, Rose? What do you mean? 
Who's picking him, and where is Laddie?" 

189 



190 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

cried Mrs. Bunker. "I can't go to him till you 
tell me where he is." 

"Laddie's in the coop with the big, old 
rooster that lives next door," explained Rose. 
"And he's picking him — I mean the rooster is 
picking Laddie, and he can't get out — I mean 
Laddie can't get out, and " 

But, once again, Rose had to stop to get her 
breath, for she talked very fast in her excite- 
ment. 

"Oh, the rooster!" Mrs Bunker hastened 
on. She remembered that Captain Ben had 
told them about a savage rooster that was part 
of some poultry kept by the man next door. 
The rooster was ugly, and would fly at every 
one who came near him, and, for this reason, 
he was usually kept shut up in the yard, while 
the other fowls were allowed to go outside. 
When the Bunkers had come to Captain Ben's 
to pay a late summer visit they had been 
warned about the rooster and told not to go 
near his yard, or if, by chance, he ever got out, 
they were to run away from him. For though 
roosters do not appear to be savage they have 
strong wings and sharp spurs and a beak, and 
they can harm a small child greatly. 



THE FLOOD 191 

Holding Rose by the hand, Mrs. Bunker ran 
toward the chicken yard of the man next door. 
Before she reached it, she could hear a great 
commotion there. 

A rooster was crowing and flapping his 
wings, and Mother Bunker could hear the 
voices of Laddie, Mun Bun, Margy and Vio- 
let, and Laddie seemed to be making the most 
noise. Russ, as it happened, was down at the 
dock with his father and Captain Ben, or he 
might have helped his little brother. 

As Mrs. Bunker turned the corner and came 
within sight of the chicken yard she saw what 
was happening. Inside the wire fence, which 
kept the savage rooster penned up, was Laddie. 
Outside, as though looking at some show, were 
Mun Bun, Margy and Vi, and they were 
screaming with excitement, Vi, every now and 
then saying: 

"Bang him with the stick, Laddie! Bang 
him with the stick !" 

This, as his mother could see, Laddie was 
trying to do. The small boy had a stick, and 
with this he was hitting at the rooster. But 
the feathered creature would flap his wings, 
jump up in the air out of Laddie's reach and, 



193 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN DEN'S 

coming down, would try to hit Laddie with 
wings, spurs or beak. 

Mrs. Bunker lost no time. Letting go of 
Rose's hand she rushed into the chicken yard 
through the high, wire gate. Then, flapping 
her skirts at the rooster, and crying "Shoo! 
Shoo !" Mrs. Bunker picked her little boy up in 
her arms, and before the surprised fowl could 
attack her she was safely outside and the gate 
was closed. The old rooster, with an angry 
crow, threw himself against the wire netting, 
but he would not get out. 

Laddie, rather mussed up and with a scratch 
on his bare leg that was bleeding, turned 
around and faced his enemy as soon as his 
mother put him down. 

"You bad old rooster you!" cried Laddie. 
"If you were a baseball I'd knock you over the 
fence !" 

"Laddie, how did you come to go into the 
rooster's yard ?" asked Mrs. Bunker, when she 
saw that the little fellow was not any more 
harmed than a few scratches. 

"I went after my ball," Laddie answered. 
"It got knocked over into the chicken yard 
when we were playing, and I went after it." 



THE FLOOD 193 

"I told him not to," said Rose. 

"Well, I thought I could get in and get out 
again before the bad old rooster saw me," 
went on Laddie. "So I went in. But when I 
wanted to come out after I got the ball, the 
gate wouldn't open, and then the bad old 
rooster came for me, and I tried to hit him 
with my ball stick, and I threw the ball at him, 
and I hit him, I guess, but he flapped his wings 
and he flew at me and — and " 

And then Laddie had to stop for breath, just 
as Rose had done. 

"Dear me !" exclaimed his mother. "It's too 
bad, but of course you should not have gone 
into the chicken yard after your ball. Mr. 
Wendell told you not to. He would have got 
your ball for you. The rooster is afraid of 
Mr. Wendell." 

"I won't go in any more," said Laddie. 
"And I wish Mr. Wendell would get my ball 
now, for it's in there." 

"I'll ask him to," said Mrs. Bunker. "And 
now you had better come into the house and 
let me wash you." 

"Oh, o-o-oh, look! Laddie's leg's got the 
nose bleed!" cried Mun Bun, pointing to the 



194 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

red spot on his brother's leg. "Laddie's leg's 
got the nose bleed!" 

"Well, I'm glad it isn't any worse," said 
Mrs. Bunker, as the others laughed at Mun 
Bun's funny remark. 

Mr. Wendell, who owned the savage rooster, 
came over later with Laddie's ball, which he 
had got from the chicken yard. Mr. Wendell 
said he was sorry for what had happened, and 
added : 

"I'm going to get rid of that bird! He's 
getting older and more saucy every day. The 
best place for him is in a potpie. He won't 
trouble you any more, Laddie." And the next 
.day the rooster was sent away. 

The six little Bunkers kept on having good 
limes at Captain Ben's. They went out on the 
water in his motor boat, and sometimes in a 
•sailboat, and on these excursions Russ, at least, 
"being the oldest, would look long and earnestly 
across the waters of the bay at Grand View. 

"What are you looking for?" Rose would 
ask him. "Are you playing pirates?" 

"No," Russ would answer. "I'm just look- 
ing to see if I can find the tramps that took 
Captain's Ben's rowboat." 



THE FLOOD 195 

But the tramps were not found, nor did the 
Bunkers learn whether or not Tad Munson 
ever ran back home after having run away. 
Mrs. Bunker often said they must take a trip 
over to Avalon, to inquire about the strange 
boy, but something always seemed to happen 
to put off the journey. Captain Ben was al- 
ways thinking of so many things for the six 
little Bunkers to do to have fun. 

One afternoon the marine, after having 
taken them all for a ride in his motor boat, 
said: 

"To-morrow, if it's a nice day, we'll go to 
that island I was telling you about, and we'll 
have a picnic." 

"May we take our lunch and stay all day?" 
asked Rose, breaking off a song she had started 
to sing. 

"Yes, it will be a regular picnic lunch," the 
captain said. "That is, if it's a fair day." 

"Do you think it will rain?" asked Russ, 
who had taken out his knife in order to make 
a little jumping jack for Mun Bun. 

"It might," the captain remarked. "I 
don't like the way the sky looks," and he gazed 
up at the clouds that were scuttling along 



196 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

overhead. "It's about time for the usual storm 
we get late in the summer, but it may hold off 
a week or more. Anyhow, if it does come, we 
can have the picnic when it clears." 

The six little Bunkers went to bed that night 
after having talked and planned for the picnic 
the next day. But alas for their hopes ! The 
fears of Captain Ben proved true, and in the 
morning it was raining hard. 

"Maybe it will clear," said Rose, as she stood 
at the window with her nose pressed against 
the glass, giving her a funny look. 

"I hope it does," said Violet. "Say, Daddy, 
what makes the rain wet?" she asked. 
"Wouldn't it be nice if the rain was dry, like 
snow, and then we could go out without um- 
brellas? Wouldn't it be nice?" 

"Snow is wet when it melts," her father 
said. "And if rain were not wet it would do 
no good when it fell. Don't complain. Have 
as much fun as you can here in the house. I 
don't believe it is going to clear to-day." 

And it did not. It rained harder and harder, 
but Captain Ben knew how to provide fun for 
the six little Bunkers even in a storm. He 
had many things of interest in his bungalow, 



THE FLOOD 197 

and he knew many stories which he told the 
children. Every once in a while, though, he 
would go to the door and look out, and Mrs. 
Bunker saw that the captain's face was grave. 

"Do you think something might happen?" 
she asked. 

"There's a great deal more rain falling than 
I like to see," answered Captain Ben. 

"Will it make the ocean so high it will wash 
us away?" asked Violet, who overheard what 
was said. 

"No," the captain answered. "All the rain 
that ever fell would not make the ocean rise 
any higher. But back of us is a small river, 
and sometimes, when it rains too much, this 
river rises and makes a flood." 

"Will it wash this bungalow away?" Russ 
asked. 

"Oh, no, nothing like that. But it some- 
times comes into my cellar," replied Captain 
Ben. "However, I don't believe it will this 
time. Only I wish it would clear up so I could 
take my six little Bunkers to the island on a 
picnic." 

The six little Bunkers wished this them- 
selves, but of course all their wishes could not 



198 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

stop the rain from falling, and it pelted down 
all day. 

Rather earlier the next morning than he was 
in the habit of getting up, Russ Bunker was 
awakened by hearing voices out in the bun- 
galow yard under his window. He quickly 
jumped from bed, looked out, and what he saw 
surprised him. It was still raining hard, and 
the yard seemed to be turned into a small lake 
with chicken coops floating around in it. Be- 
sides the coops, there were planks and boards, 
and Captain Ben and other men were wading 
about with long rubber boots on, trying to se- 
cure the floating coops of chickens. 

"Oh, Mother! Dad!" cried Russ in his 
excitement. "Wake up ! The flood has come !" 



CHAPTER XXI 



AN ISLAND PICNIC 



Mr. and Mrs. Bunker did not need the urg- 
ing call of Russ to awaken them. They had 
already been up more than an hour when the 
little boy exclaimed so loudly about the flood. 
And it was as he had said. The rain had filled 
the little river back of the bungalow, the river 
had risen and made a lake of the yards and 
fields back of Captain Ben's home. 

"What's the matter?" called Rose, who had 
been sleeping and dreaming of the island pic- 
nic until she heard Russ's voice. "What's 
happened?" she asked. 

"Come and see," answered Russ. 

Rose finished dressing and ran to join her 
brother at the window, which looked down into 
the yard. Soon Laddie and Vi were with them, 
and the four little Bunkers looked out on a 
curious scene. The other two little Bunkers 

199 



200 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

— Mun Bun and Margy — were still asleep in 
their beds, or bunks. And it was indeed curi- 
ous for Rose, Russ, Vi and Laddie to see Cap- 
tain Ben and some others, including Daddy- 
Bunker now, wading about and pulling the 
floating chicken coops to places of safety. 

"Are the chickens going for a ride in their 
coops?" asked Vi. 

"It looks so," Russ answered. "But I guess 
they'd rather not go. Chickens don't like 
water." 

"I wish that old rooster that flew at me would 
get soaking wet !" exclaimed Laddie. 

"Anybody that's out in this rain'll get wet," 
observed Russ. "See it pour!" 

It was, indeed, a very hard storm, but Cap- 
tain Ben and his friends, with Daddy Bunker, 
who were helping to save the chickens of the 
neighbor next door, had on yellow "slickers," 
or oilskins, as the fishermen and sailors call 
them, and with their big rubber boots they 
were almost as dry as though under shelter. 

"Will the bungalow float away?" asked Vi, 
as she looked at the big pond of water which 
not only filled Captain Ben's back yard, but 
also the yards of his neighbors on either side. 



AN ISLAND PICNIC 201 

"No, the bungalows will not float away," 
said Mother Bunker, coming along just in time 
to hear Vi's question. Mother Bunker thought 
perhaps the flood might frighten the children, 
but they seemed to think it rather jolly than 
otherwise. 

"It's like being on a house boat, isn't it?" 
said Rose. 

"Oh, wouldn't that be fun!" cried Russ. 
"We could float all around and live here and 
we wouldn't care how hard it rained." 

"I'm afraid Captain Ben wouldn't like to see 
his bungalow go floating off in the flood," said 
Mrs. Bunker, with a smile. "But come down 
to breakfast now, and then you may watch the 
men save the chickens. Poor things ! I guess 
they don't know what to make of it." 

"May we go out and help save 'em after we 
eat?" asked Laddie. 

"No, indeed!" his mother told him. "You 
must stay in while it rains. But it may stop 
before the day is over." 

However, the downpour showed no signs of 
letting up. It came down harder than ever, 
and when they had finished eating the chil- 
dren stood at the windows and looked out. 



202 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

The water in the rear yard was not quite up 
to the back steps, but when Captain Ben and 
Daddy Bunker came in, after having helped 
save the chickens, the marine said : 

"There is water in my cellar now. If it 
keeps on raining there will be more in. But 
there's nothing much down there to spoil." 

"Will it wash the bungalow away?" asked 
Vi. 

"Oh, no !" laughed the captain. "We've had 
floods like this before, and we never had any 
serious trouble. I'm only sorry that it spoils 
our island picnic." 

"Well, we can have fun here," said Russ. 
"We can make believe we're on a house boat, 
and that we're sailing to China." 

"And can't we go somewhere to get some- 
thing to eat?" asked Laddie. "Maybe they 
won't have anything I like in China. They 
have tea, and I don't like that very much." 

"Yes, we'll make believe sail to the North 
Pole, and maybe we'll see Santa Claus and he'll 
give us something good," laughed Rose, catch- 
ing up Margy in her arms and dancing about 
the room. 

"I want to see Santa Claus !" cried Margy. 



AN ISLAND PICNIC 303 

"And I want candy !" added Mun Bun. 

"Play as much as you like," said Captain 
Ben. "It can't rain forever and we'll have our 
island picnic as soon as the weather clears." 

But it seemed to be going to rain all day. 
Inch by inch the water in the back yard crept 
nearer the back steps. 

"I guess I'd better bring up one of my row- 
boats from the dock," said Captain Ben, with 
a laugh, as, after dinner, he looked out and 
saw the flood coming still higher. "Mr. Wen- 
dell will have to row around in a boat to feed 
his chickens, I believe." 

"Oh, could I come?" begged Russ. "It'll be 
lots of fun to feed chickens from a rowboat." 

"We don't know for sure that that is what 
Mr. Wendell will do," said the marine. 

The children played about the bungalow as 
best they could until nearly supper time, when 
it was still raining. While Mrs. Bunker was 
busy with the meal, Rose and Russ went out 
on the back porch. The weather was not cold, 
and when the children saw how near the large 
puddle of water was in the yard, and noticed 
that it was not raining quite so hard now, they 
each thought of something at the same time. 



204 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Let's go in wading!" exclaimed Russ and 
Rose together. 

"We can put on our raincoats," added Russ. 

"And take umbrellas," went on Rose. 

Not stopping to ask their mother if they 
might, and seeing that Vi and Laddie, Mun 
Bun and Margy were playing together in a 
distant part of the house, Rose and her brother 
got on their storm clothes, took off their shoes 
and stockings and soon were wading about in 
the shallow part of the flood-pond. 

"Isn't it nice ?" laughed Rose, as she splashed 
about. 

"Lots of fun," said Russ. Then, as he 
looked toward the far end of Captain Ben's 
flooded yard, Russ uttered a cry of surprise. 
"Look, Rose !" he called. "On that board float- 
ing down !" 

"Oh, it's a cat!" cried Rose. 

"And some kittens!" added Russ. "She's 
taking them for a ride !" 

Surely enough, floating down the flooded 
yard on a board was a mother cat and four kit- 
tens. But they did not seem to be riding for 
pleasure, or having a good time. As the board 
boat slowly turned around and around, coming 




SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY RUSS PULLED THE BOAT TOWARD HIM. 
Six Little Bunkers at Captain Ben's Page 206 



AN ISLAND PICNIC 205 

nearer and nearer to Russ and Rose, the 
mother cried as though asking the children to 
come i nd rescue her and her little family. The 
little kittens also cried. 

"Oh, Russ!" exclaimed Rose. "The poor 
things ! Can't we get 'em and take 'em in ?" 

"I guess so," Russ answered. "They're 
floating down this way. If I had a long stick 
I could poke 'em nearer to us." 

"Here's a clothes stick," said Rose, taking 
one from the back porch. Then she and Russ 
waded farther out and waited for the mother 
cat and her kittens to come within reach. 

Just about this time Mrs. Bunker, who had 
finished setting the table, went into the pantry, 
and from a window she could look out into the 
back yard. She saw what Russ and R.ose were 
doing — wading in the pond with their shoes and 
stockings off, Rose under an umbrella and Russ 
in his rain coat. 

"Oh, children! what are you doing?" called 
Mrs. Bunker. 

"We're trying to save the kittens !" answered 
Russ. "I'll have 'em in a minute." 

As he spoke he reached out with the clothes 
pole Rose had handed him, and he managed to 



206 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

touch the board on which crouched the little 
family, mother and kittens all mewing now. 
Slowly and carefully Russ pulled the board 
toward him, and when it was almost within his 
reach the mother cat took one of the kittens 
up in her mouth. It was as though she knew 
they were going to be rescued, and as though 
she were getting ready for it. 

"Oh, the poor little dears !" exclaimed Rose. 
She reached forward to lift off the other three 
little kittens, while Russ dropped the pole and 
got ready to take care of the mother cat. But 
Rose found that to hold three kittens she needed 
to let go of the umbrella, so she tossed it on 
the porch back of her. 

Then she quickly gathered the three half- 
drowned kittens in her arms, while Russ took 
the mother cat and one kitten, which the mother 
cat still held in her mouth. Then, as the board 
floated away, the children carried their new 
pets into the house. 

"Oh, my dears, you're all wet !" cried Mother 
Bunker, while Vi and Laddie and Mun Bun 
and Margy crowded around to look at the 
rescued animals. 

"Well, if we hadn't gone out in the rain we 



AN ISLAND PICNIC 207 

wouldn't have seen the mother cat and her 
little ones, and maybe they'd be drowned, so 
it's a good thing we went in wading," declared 
Russ. 

His mother laughed but said nothing. The 
cat and kittens were carried near the warm 
stove and given milk, and soon they were pur- 
ring contentedly. 

"Something good came out of the flood, any- 
how," said Captain Ben, when he saw the now 
happy little family. 

"How do you suppose they got on the 
board ?" asked Russ, as he rubbed the now soft 
and dry fur of one of the kittens. 

"I presume the old cat had her family out 
in some barn or woodshed," answered the 
marine. "When the water began to rise she 
crawled with them up as high as she could to 
keep dry. But the water kept on rising and 
finally floated her off on the board, as though 
it were a boat. I don't know where they came 
from, but we'll keep them until some one claims 
them." 

"I'm going to keep one forever and take it 
home with me!" declared Margy, who had a 
black kitten in her lap. 



308 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"So'm I!" added Mun Bun, who was lift- 
ing up a black and white kitten. 

It rained all that night, but the sun shone 
and the storm was over the next day. The 
flood did very little real damage, aside from 
floating away Mr. Wendell's chicken coops and 
filling Captain Ben's cellar with water. And 
almost as quickly as it had risen the small river 
went down again. The ocean and bay were 
not changed by all the rain that had fallen. 
The tides rose and fell just the same. 

One bright, sunny day, shortly after the 
flood, when the old cat and her kittens had 
begun to feel quite at home in the bungalow, 
Captain Ben came up from the dock where he 
and Daddy Bunker had been working on the 
motor boat. 

"Now the Spray is all ready for a long trip," 
said the sailor. "We shall go on our island 
picnic to-morrow." 

"Oh, what fun!" laughed the six little 
Bunkers. 

It was a glorious day for a picnic. They 
were all up early and the lunches were packed 
in boxes and baskets. 

"Are we going to take the mother cat and 



AN ISLAND PICNIC 209 

her kittens?" asked Margy, when the time 
came for the start. 

"Oh, indeed no !" said Mrs. Bunker. 

"Well, how are they going to get anything 
to eat if we leave 'em home here all alone?" 
Mun Bun wanted to know. 

"I'll put a saucer of milk where they can get 
it for their dinner, Margy," answered Captain 
Ben. "And we'll be home in time to feed them 
this evening." 

That satisfied the two smaller children, and, 
after a last pat and rub of the purring mother 
and kittens, Margy and Mun Bun joined the 
others in the motor boat. 

Over the sparkling waters of the bay at 
Grand View went the Spray. The six little 
Bunkers looked toward the island where they 
were to spend the day on a picnic, and soon 
they reached it. 

"Can we go barefoot?" asked Vi, almost as 
soon as she had stepped out on the sandy 
beach. 

"Yes. But be careful about stepping on 
sharp shells," her mother cautioned her. 

"I'm going to take off my shoes, too!" said 
Mun Bun, and soon the four youngest Bunkers 



210 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

were wiggling their toes on the soft, warm 
sand. 

Then such fun as the children had! They 
raced about, sailed little wooden boats, built 
caves of sand, and threw stones in the water. 
Russ gathered shells for his collection, and 
Rose picked flowers for her dried flower collec- 
tion, while Daddy and Mother Bunker and 
Captain Ben sat in the shade and talked or 
read books they had brought along. 

Rose and Russ had wandered off together 
down a woodland path on the island, and Rose 
was a little ahead of her brother when he sud- 
denly heard her calling. 

"Russ, come here!" said Rose in a strange 
voice. 

Russ hurried forward. 



CHAPTER XXII 

AFTER THE TRAMPS 

Russ saw his sister Rose standing in a little 
shady group of trees, looking at some sight 
down in a small glen, or little valley. 

"What's the matter, Rose?" asked Russ. 

"Hush. Not so loud," she whispered back, 
holding her hand up to make him keep quiet. 
"You'll scare 'em away if you're not careful." 

"Scare who?" asked Russ. 

"The tramps," Rose answered. "See, there 
are the ragged men down there. They're hav- 
ing a picnic, like us, I guess." 

Russ looked and saw a group of the sort of 
men he had always called tramps. They were 
ragged and dirty, and were seated about a fire 
over which hung a steaming kettle. 

"They're cooking just like gypsies," said 

Russ. "Maybe they are gypsies, Rose." 

"No, they're tramps," went on the little girl. 
211 



212 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"And I guess they are the same ones that took 
Captain Ben's rowboat and the other things off 
the dock. And maybe they're the same ones 
that took Mrs. Brown's jewelry." 

"Oh, maybe they are!" exclaimed Russ. 
"What'llwedo?" 

"Let's go and tell daddy and mother and 
Captain Ben," answered Rose. "They'll know 
what to do." 

Russ and Rose turned back on the woodland 
path. The ragged tramps did not appear to 
have seen or heard the children, and a little 
later the oldest of the six little Bunkers were 
excitedly telling the others on the island beach 
what they had seen. 

"Tramps, eh?" exclaimed Captain Ben. 
"Well, now I have a chance to catch them. 
They can't get away from me now, as the island 
is too small. Can you show me where they 
are, Russ and Rose ? Then you can come back 
while your father and I round them up." 

"Oh, can't I help catch 'em?" pleaded Russ. 

"No, indeed!" his father exclaimed, as he 
and Captain Ben got ready to go to where the 
ragged men were cooking some sort of meal 
in the woods. 



AFTER THE TRAMPS 213 

"Wait a minute!" called Mother Bunker. 
"If you two men are going tramp hunting, that 
means I shall be left alone here with the chil- 
dred. And if any of the tramps get away, and 
come around where we are " 

"That's so!" exclaimed Daddy Bunker. "I 
didn't think of that. What shall we do?" he 
asked Captain Ben. "It will take two of us to 
round up the tramps, and yet " 

Just then the whistle of a boat sounded down 
near the beach where the Bunker party had 
landed in the Spray. Captain Ben glanced 
down, and as he did so a smile and look of re- 
lief came over his face. 

"This will make it easy," he said. "There's 
Captain Blake and some boys I know. They 
were in the war with me. Some of them can 
stay with Cousin Amy and the children, and 
the rest can come with us and help catch the 
tramps." 

"I wish I'd been a soldier boy, then I could 
help catch tramps, too !" exclaimed Russ. 

"Hello, Captain Ben! What are you doing 
here?" called Captain Blake, who had brought 
a group of boys from a warship to the island 
for a day's outing. 



214 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"We're having a picnic," replied Captain 
Ben. "And you're just in time, boys !" and he 
greeted the jolly sailor lads. 

"Just in time for lunch, do you mean?" 
asked one rosy-cheeked lad, as he danced 
around on the sand after leaping from the 
motor boat. 

"Yes, I guess we have some lunch left, if the 
six little Bunkers didn't eat it all up," went on 
Captain Ben. 

"Six little Bunkers!" repeated Captain 
Blake. "That sounds like a troupe of circus 
performers." 

"Well, they can get up a circus if they have 
to!" laughed Captain Ben. "But here they 
are," and he pointed to the six little Bunkers, 
and introduced Daddy and Mother Bunker as 
well. 

"But what I meant when I said you were just 
in time," went on Captain Ben, "is that we've 
discovered a nest of tramps here on the island. 
I think they're the same gang that took my 
rowboat, and also took some things off the 
dock. They're down in a little glen — two of 
the Bunkers saw them — I want you boys to 
help me catch 'em !" 



AFTER THE TRAMPS 818 

"Whoopee! That's what we'll do! All 
aboard!" cried one of the sailor boys. 

"But you can't all go," went on Captain 
Ben. "Some of you must stay with Mrs. 
Bunker and the children in case the tramps 
scatter and some of them run this way." 

"I could drive 'em away, but they won't let 
me!" complained Russ, who felt quite indig- 
nant that he was not to be allowed to take part 
in the chase. 

"I'll tell you what we'll do, sonny!" said 
Captain Blake, with a smile. "You and I and 
one of the sailor boys will stay here as a sort 
of home guard. The others can go and catch 
the tramps. And we'll have an extra piece of 
cake, maybe, for staying at home instead of 
having the fun of the chase." 

"Yes, you shall each have two pieces of 
cake," promised Mrs. Bunker. 

"And I want some!" added Mun Bun, who 
was generally to be heard from when there was 
anything like cake to eat. 

So it was arranged. Captain Ben, Daddy 
Bunker and some of the sailor boys went off 
over the hill, very quietly, toward the place 
where Rose and Russ had seen the tramps 



216 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

around their camp fire. Captain Blake and a 
big, hearty, strong sailor boy remained behind 
as a guard for Mother Bunker and the six little 
Bunkers. Captain Blake was a jolly man, and 
he soon had the children laughing with his 
funny stories. 

"Do you know any riddles?" asked Laddie, 
after a while. 

"Well, I might think of one," said the cap- 
tain. "I'll ask you this : What is the longest 
word in the world ?" 

"If I had a dictionary here maybe I could 
find it," said Russ. 

"You don't need a dictionary for this," went 
on the seaman. "I think I'll have to tell you. 
The longest word is smiles." 

"Why, that's only a little, short word," said 
Rose, smiling herself. 

"But isn't there a mile between the first and 
the last letter?" Captain Blake asked. "You 
see, first there is a letter S. Then comes the 
word mile, and then there's the last S — a mile 
between the two, and I call that a very long 
word." 

"Oh, how funny!" laughed Rose. "That's 
a good riddle." 



AFTER THE TRAMPS 217 

"And I know another," said Laddie. "What 
is it that's got only one eye and carries a long 
train in it?" 

"What is it that has only one eye and carries 
a long train in it?" repeated the captain. "Do 
you mean a train of cars?" 

"No, I mean a long train — like that on a 
lady's dress," Laddie explained. "It's a 
needle!" he said quickly, before any one had 
time to guess. "A needle has one eye and when 
there is thread in the eye the thread makes a 
long train." 

"Ha! Ha! That's pretty good!" laughed 
the captain. Then he told more stories, and 
the sailor with him sang some jolly sea songs 
and the six little Bunkers were having a fine 
time. 

"I wonder if daddy and Captain Ben are 
catching the tramps," said Mrs. Bunker, after 
a while, when it seemed as though it was time 
for the searching party to return. 

Suddenly there was a crackling in the bushes. 

"Here comes some one now," said Russ. 

The noise in the bushes grew louder, and 
there was the sound of several voices. Cap- 
tain Blake, who had been having fun with Mun 



218 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Bun and Margy on the grass, rose to his feet 
and picked up a stout club. The other sailor 
did the same, and they stood in front of Mrs. 
Bunker and the children, looking in the direc- 
tion of the noise. 

Russ moved up as though to take his place 
beside the two protectors, but his mother called 
to him to come back to her, where Rose and the 
other little Bunkers were now gathered. 

Then they all waited to see who should come 
through the bushes. Would it be Daddy 
Bunker and Captain Ben returning with the 
tramps they had caught, or the ragged men 
themselves, scattering and running away ? 



CHAPTER XXIII 



THE OLD SATCHEL 



"I see Captain Ben!" suddenly called Rose, 
pointing toward the bushes which could now 
be seen to be moving. 

"I'm glad of that!" exclaimed Mrs. Bunker, 
and Captain Blake and his sailor friend dropped 
the clubs they had taken up. 

"Did they catch any tramps ?" asked Laddie. 

"I don't see any," replied Russ. 

And as his father and the others of the party 
came into view, pushing their way through the 
bushes, it was noticed that they had not cap- 
tured any of the ragged men. 

"What's the matter?" asked Captain Blake. 
"Did they get away from you?" 

"Yes," answered Captain Ben. "The rascals 
skipped out. They must have heard us com- 
ing and have run down to the beach on the 

219 



220 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

other side of the island. There the tramps 
piled into a boat and went away." 

"What sort of boat?" asked the seaman who 
had come with the jolly sailors. 

"It was a motor boat," answered Daddy 
Bunker. "But they had a rowboat also, towing 
behind." 

"And I think it was the same rowboat they 
took from me," went on Captain Ben. "And 
I shouldn't be a bit surprised if they had taken 
the motor boat, also." 

"Oh, they must be terribly bad men!" ex- 
claimed Vi, in such a funny voice that every 
one laughed. 

"They are bad," declared Captain Ben. 
"That's why I want to catch them. They'll be 
hanging around here all winter if we don't 
drive them away, and they'll be taking things 
that don't belong to them. Captain Blake, will 
you help me?" 

"Help you in what, Captain Ben ?" asked the 
other captain, while the six little Bunkers 
looked and listened. 

"Will you help me catch those tramps ? We 
can take after them in our motor boats. I saw 
which way they went. I believe they're head- 



THE OLD SATCHEL 221 

ing for Oyster Cove. We can round them up 
there. Will you come ?" 

"I most assuredly will!" exclaimed Captain 
Blake. 

"And we'll come, too!" shouted the sailor 
boys. 

"Then can't I come?" asked Russ. "I could 
steer a boat or throw stones or — something!" 

"I'm afraid this will be no place for little 
boys," answered Captain Ben. "We might as 
well hurry," he added. "I'm sorry to end our 
island picnic," he remarked to Mrs. Bunker, 
"but we must get those tramps." 

"Do you want me and the children to stay 
here on the island while you men go down to 
Oyster Cove and capture the tramps?" asked 
the mother of the six little Bunkers. "If you 
do " 

"Oh, no! I wouldn't think of that," an- 
swered Captain Ben. "As I said, I hate to spoil 
the picnic, but I think it will be best for you to 
take the children back to my bungalow. Then 
Captain Blake and I will go with the sailors, 
catch the tramps, and take away the things the 
ragged men stole." 

"Perhaps that will be best," said Mrs. 



222 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Bunker. "We have had a good time here, and 
it is almost time to go back home." 

There was so much excitement going on, and 
such a prospect of more that might happen, 
that the six little Bunkers did not at all mind 
leaving the island. They were always ready 
for something new, were the six little Bunkers, 
and this chase after the ragged tramps was 
decidedly something new. 

"If you catch 'em will you bring 'em back 
for us to see?" asked Vi, as the two parties 
prepared to leave the island. 

"No, I think we'll take them right to the 
lockup," answered her father. "But come now, 
gather up everything, and we'll start back. If 
we let the tramps get too far away it will be 
hard to catch them again." 

Soon the six little Bunkers were once more 
in Captain Ben's boat, and on their way across 
the bay to the bungalow. Captain Blake and 
his sailor boys went at once in the direction of 
Oyster Cove, there to round up the tramps if 
possible. 

"I'll come and join you as soon as I leave 
the six little Bunkers safe," Captain Ben called 
to his friend Captain Blake. 



THE OLD SATCHEL 223 

'Who'll take care of us after you and daddy- 
go back to get the tramps ?" Rose asked, as the 
boat neared the dock. 

"There will be plenty of neighbors around," 
her mother answered. 

Word soon spread through the little colony 
at Grand View that the tramps, who had stolen 
many things during the late summer, might 
soon be caught, and several men joined Cap- 
tain Ben and Daddy Bunker in the motor boat 
that was to go to Oyster Cove. 

"But there will be no danger from the 
tramps," remarked Mr. Wendell, the next door 
neighbor, whose rooster had tried to fight 
Laddie that time. "The tramps must know 
they are being chased, and they'll get as far 
away as they can." 

"I hope they don't get so far away that 
daddy and Captain Ben can't catch 'em!" ex- 
claimed Russ. 

Russ, Rose and the others stood on the pier 
and waved their hands to Captain Ben and 
their father, who departed in the motor boat 
Spray, together with several volunteers who 
wanted to help catch the tramps. Then the six 
little Bunkers went up the hill to the bungalow. 



224 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

They were tired after their outing on the 
island, and for once they did not tease their 
mother to provide them with some amusement. 

Margy and Mun Bun found two of their 
dolls and were satisfied to sit down and play 
with them for a time. Laddie found a picture 
book and took it off in a corner. Vi got out 
her sewing basket and began work on a dress 
for her doll. But as she had been working on 
this same dress all summer, and as it was not 
nearly finished yet, it seemed as if her poor 
doll would have to go out and buy something 
to wear, Russ said. 

Russ had brought in some wood for the fire 
his mother wanted to start in the kitchen stove 
and Rose was getting ready to help set the 
table. When these tasks were done Margy and 
Mun Bun came up to Rose and Russ who were 
sitting down, resting. 

"You please be doctor," begged Mun Bun of 
Russ. 

"And you be nurse. Our babies are sick," 
said Margy to Rose. 

"What in the world do you mean?" asked 
Russ. 

"You be doctor and bring medicine to the 



THE OLD SATCHEL 225- 

dolls in a satchel," went on Margy, pulling at 
the sleeve of Russ. "I'll show you where the 
satchel is. You put medicine in, and come and 
be doctor." 

"Oh, she wants you to get a satchel and pre- 
tend you're a doctor and bring medicine like 
Dr. Gage brings to our house," said Rose. 
"And they want me to be a nurse. We'll play 
with you a little while, until supper is ready, 
Margy," she promised her little sister. 

"And Russ be doctor," begged Mun Bun. 

"Yes, Russ'll be doctor," went on Rose. 
"Get that old valise we brought from home 
with us," she went on, "and make believe it has 
a lot of pills and medicine in it, Russ. We'll 
keep Mun Bun and Margy quiet while mother 
finishes getting supper," she whispered to her 
big brother. 

"All right, I'll be the doctor," promised the 
oldest Bunker boy. "Where's the valise?" 

Rose showed him where, put back in a hall 
closet, was an old satchel in which some odds 
and ends had been put the last minute for the 
automobile trip from home. With this in his 
hand, and pretending to be a doctor, Russ 
walked up to the playhouse Mun Bun and 



226 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Margy had made for themselves in one corner 
of the living room. 

"Which is the sick baby?" asked Russ, just 
as Dr. Gage might have done. He looked at 
the dolls which Mun Bun and Margy had. 

"They're both sick," said Margy, "and they 
both want a lot of medicine." 

"Well, I'll give one some red pills and the 
other some green," said "Dr. Russ." He 
dropped his satchel of make-believe medicine 
to the floor and was about to look at Margy's 
doll, when Rose gave a startled cry and pointed 
to the old satchel. 

"Look! Look!" she cried. "See what was 
in the old valise!" 



CHAPTER XXIV 



TAD S NEWS 



Margy almost dropped her sick doll, she was 
so surprised at the astonishment in the voice 
of Rose and at the manner in which her sister 
pointed toward the old valise. Mun Bun, too, 
looked at the leather satchel on the floor, and 
Russ, who had dropped it, stared with wide- 
opened eyes at the sight which met his gaze. 

"Look! Look!" went on Rose. "There it 
is!" 

"What?" asked Margy. 

"Captain Ben's watch — the gold wrist watch 
he lost when he was helping us pack to come 
here," went on Rose. "It just fell out of the 
old valise Russ dropped. 

"Did it?" asked Russ, who was as much sur- 
prised as was Rose. 

"Yes," went on Rose, "it did. As soon as 

227 



228 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

you dropped the valise that little pocket on the 
side opened and the watch came out. There 
it is!" 

And there, surely enough, was Captain 
Ben's missing watch — the one he thought so 
much of because it was given to him by a sol- 
dier in France. 

"What's the matter?" asked Mother 
Bunker, coming in from the kitchen. She had 
heard the cries of excitement among the chil- 
dren. 

"Look what we found — Captain Ben's 
watch — it was in the old valise — it fell out 
when Russ dropped it — dropped the valise, I 
mean," answered Rose. "He was playing doc- 
tor, because Mun Bun's doll and Margy's were 
sick. Oh, Mother! won't Captain Ben be 
glad?" 

"Yes, I think he will," answered Mrs. 
Bunker, as she picked the watch up off the 
floor. The timepiece was not damaged, and 
when Mrs. Bunker had wound it and given it 
a little shake, it ticked off merrily, though of 
course it had to be set to indicate the proper 
hour. 

"Well, I never knew Captain Ben's watch 



TAD'S NEWS 229 

was in that old valise when I took it to play 
doctor," said Russ. 

"And no one else imagined it was there," 
said his mother. "The watch must have slipped 
from Captain Ben's wrist when he was help- 
ing us pack, and it fell into the side pocket of 
the satchel. Then it was strapped shut and 
put with our luggage. We never had occasion 
to open the valise side pocket, and of course 
we never thought of looking in there. Only 
by accident could it have been found." 

"I'm glad we found it," said Russ. "Cap- 
tain Ben'll be glad, too." 

There was so much excitement over finding 
the missing watch that all thought of playing 
doctor, nurse and sick dolls passed. Vi and 
Laddie had to hear the story all over again. 

"Then the tramps didn't take Captain Ben's 
watch after all, did they ?" asked Vi, when she 
and Laddie had looked several times in the 
side pocket of the valise, whence the watch had 
slid when Russ dropped the satchel. 

"We never thought tramps had taken it," 
said her mother. "Captain Ben missed his 
watch long before we heard about the tramps." 

Speaking of tramps naturally brought the 



230 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

talk to the chase then under way, and the chil- 
dren were wondering whether their father, 
Captain Ben, Captain Blake and the others 
would be lucky in the pursuit. It was just get- 
ting dusk when steps were heard on the bun- 
galow porch, and in came Daddy Bunker and 
Captain Ben. They looked tired and dis- 
couraged. 

"Did you catch the tramps?" cried Russ 
eagerly. 

"No/' and his father shook his head. "They 
had too much of a start on us." 

"And they got away," added Captain Ben. 
"We were unlucky to-day." 

"But we were lucky here!" exclaimed Rose, 
with sparkling eyes. 

"What do you mean?" asked the marine, 
looking from one of the six little Bunkers to 
the other. Something in their manner told 
him that the unusual had happened. 

"See if you can guess!" proposed Laddie. 
"Make believe it's a riddle, and guess, Captain 
Ben." 

"Hum! Let me see!" and the marine pre- 
tended to be thinking very hard. "Is it " 

"It's your watch!" burst out Mun Bun. 



TAD'S NEWS 231 

"We were playing side dolls, and Russ was 
the doctor and he had a valise and " 

"Oh, what'd you tell him for? Why didn't 
you let him guess?" asked Laddie. 

But the secret was out now. 

"My watch! My wrist watch! Do you 
mean you found my watch that the French 
soldier gave me?" cried Captain Ben. 

"Yes, here it is," and Mrs. Bunker handed 
it to her relative, telling him how it had been 
found. 

"Well, I never !" exclaimed Captain Ben. "I 
had given that up as lost forever. I should 
say you did have luck here, even if we were 
not lucky in catching the tramps." 

"So they got away, did they?" asked 
Mother Bunker, after Captain Ben had fas- 
tened his watch on his wrist. 

"Yes. In the motor boat, which they must 
have stolen, they were too speedy for us. 
Then, too, they had a good start. But we have 
not given up. Word has been sent to the police 
all around here and the men may be caught 
any moment. They won't bother us again, 
that's sure." 

"I'm glad of that," said Mother Bunker. 



232 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

Then they all sat down to supper and talked 
over what had happened during the day. 
There was plenty about which to talk, from the 
picnic early in the day, to the sighting of the 
tramps by Rose, the chase after them and the 
finding of the captain's watch. As he had 
promised, Captain Ben divided the five dollars 
reward between Rose and Russ. 

But all days must come to an end, and this 
one finally did. The six little Bunkers went 
up to bed and soon were sleeping, tired out 
with the many adventures. 

It was just after breakfast the next morn- 
ing when Russ, who was bringing in some 
wood for the kitchen fire, heard some one com- 
ing up the front walk and looked to see who 
it was. 

"Why— why!" Russ exclaimed. "It's Tad 
—Tad Munson !" 

"Yes, that's who I am," was the answer. 
"And I've a lot of news for you. Where's 
your father and Captain Ben?" 

"They're in the house," said Russ. "But 
what's the matter? What news have you to 
tell?" 

"You wait and you'll hear !" promised Tad, 



TAD'S NEWS 233 

for it was, indeed, he. But. he was much 
changed. He was clean and well dressed. In- 
stead of old, torn shoes he had on nice, shiny 
ones. 

Just then Captain Ben and Daddy Bunker 
came out on the porch. They seemed surprised 
at the sight of the former runaway boy. 

"He's got news for us, Daddy !" cried Russ, 
dropping his armful of wood. 



CHAPTER XXV 



THE CAPTURE 



"Well, Tad," said Mr. Bunker, when he 
saw the "runaway boy," which was the name 
he was often called, "it has been some time 
since we saw you last." 

"Yes, Mr. Bunker, it has," went on Tad. 
"I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble." 

"Oh, you didn't cause us so much trouble as 
you did your father," said Captain Ben. "He 
came here one night, very late, inquiring about 
you, and " 

"Yes, I know," interrupted Tad. "And I'm 
sorry I made him so much trouble. But it's all 
right now, and I'm never going to run away 
again. That's what I came over to tell you." 

"Is this the news ?" asked Russ, and he began 
to feel a little disappointed. 

"No, it isn't all the news," Tad went on. 
"After I ran away, and you brought me part 

234 



THE CAPTURE 235 

of the way back, I was going to take the trolley- 
car to my home in Avalon, just as I said I 
would. But I got sort of scared after I went 
away from you. I was afraid to go home, so 
I didn't." 

"Oh, so that's why your father came here 
looking for you!" exclaimed Daddy Bunker. 
"We often wondered if you ever did go back 
home." 

"Yes, I went a few days after that," Tad 
said. "And my father was good to me, and 
when I told him how kind you folks were to 
me, he said I must come right over and thank 
you, and let you know I was safe at home 
again. 

"Well, I was going to, but I kept putting it 
off. But at last my father and mother decided 
I must come, so when I got some new clothes 
and new shoes I decided to come, and here I 
am. I just came in on the trolley car." 

"Did you come to tell us about your new 
shoes and new suit?" Rose asked. 

"Oh, I have more news than that !" exclaimed 
Tad. "Do you want to know where to find 
those tramps?" he asked suddenly. 

"Tramps? What do you know about the 



236 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

tramps ?" asked Captain Ben. "Have they been 
over in Avalon, too, taking things?" 

"No, I don't think so," answered Tad. "But 
we heard, over there, about a gang of tramps 
being chased off an island and down toward 
Oyster Cove. And just now, when I was get- 
ting off the trolley car down by the railroad 
station, I saw a lot of tramps hiding in the 
bushes." 

"You did?" cried Daddy Bunker. "What 
were they doing there ?" 

"Just hiding," answered Tad. "I was near 
enough to hear what they were saying, and 
they spoke about a motor boat. That's what 
made me think maybe they were the same 
tramps you chased." 

"I wouldn't be a bit surprised!" exclaimed 
Captain Ben. "This is great news, Tad. Come 
on!" he called to Daddy Bunker. "We'll get 
some policemen and round up these fellows. 
We'll capture them, and send them to jail. 
Then maybe I'll get back my rowboat they 
took, and if we find the motor boat we can give 
that back to whoever owns it." 

"Maybe the tramps are hiding in the bushes 
to steal a train of cars," suggested Laddie. 



THE CAPTURE 237 

"They couldn't carry off a train of cars, 
that's sure," said Captain Ben, with a laugh. 
"Probably they're hiding there so they can get 
aboard a freight train when one stops. I guess 
they want to get away from here, and they 
think a freight train will take them away so 
they won't be captured. But we'll get after 
them. Just where did you see the ragged men, 
Tad?" 

The former runaway boy told, and Captain 
Ben called the police station on the telephone 
and asked that two or three policemen be sent 
to his bungalow. From there the capture 
party could start for the tramps' hiding place 
in the bushes by the railroad. 

"I'll go along with you and show you the 
place," Tad offered. 

The policemen soon arrived at Captain Ben's 
bungalow, and then he and Daddy Bunker set 
out, with Tad to lead the way to where the 
ragged men were hiding. 

"Oh, Mother, can't we go and see the tramps 
run?" begged Rose. 

"Yes!" added Russ. "They won't chase us 
with the policemen there to make 'em be good ! 
Let's go!" 



238 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Well, we'll go and look on from a distance," 
said Mrs. Bunker. So, with the six little 
Bunkers in charge she started for the railroad. 

It was all over in a little while. Daddy- 
Bunker, Captain Ben, and the police officers 
silently made their way to the place where the 
ragged men were hiding. They surrounded 
it, so the tramps could not get away, and soon 
the vagrants were all captured. They did not 
fight at all, for they seemed to be cowards. 

One by one they were led out, pushed into 
a wagon and taken to jail. Of course the six 
little Bunkers did not go near the jail. But 
they had seen the tramps caught and this was 
enough for them. Tad was warmly thanked 
by Captain Ben, Daddy Bunker and others for 
telling where the troublesome men might be 
caught. 

"Did you get your rowboat ?" asked Russ of 
Captain Ben, when the marine came "back after 
the tramps were locked up. 

"They didn't exactly have it with them," 
laughed Captain Ben, "but I made them tell 
me where it was hidden. And the motor boat 
is there also. It was stolen from a friend of 
mine. He'll be glad to get it back — as glad as 



THE CAPTURE 239 

I am to get my rowboat and my wrist watch — 
only, of course, the tramps didn't have that. 
But the ragged men will not trouble any one 
for a long time, now." 

"Did any of them have Mrs. Brown's 
jewelry?" asked Mother Bunker. 

"Not as far as we could learn," her husband 
answered. "These tramps said they were never 
near the Brown place." 

"That's too bad. I'm sorry, I mean, that 
Mrs. Brown won't get back her rings and 
things," Mother Bunker went on. "But I'm 
glad these men have been captured. Now we 
don't need to worry about them, for the chil- 
dren have been a little frightened, I think." 

While it may have been true that these par- 
ticular tramps were not the ones that robbed 
Mrs. Brown, yet it was some like them, as the 
Bunkers learned later. For another gang of 
ragged men were arrested not far from Grand 
View, and some of these had a few of the 
trinkets taken from the farmhouse. These 
were given back to Mrs. Brown, and, later still, 
more of her jewelry was recovered from other 
tramps, so that most of her ornaments were 
restored. 



240 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

As for Tad, he seemed to have got all over 
his runaway habits. He admitted he had been 
a very foolish little boy, and said he never was 
going to do anything like that again. Often 
after the tramps had been caught and sent 
away, Tad came over to play with the six little 
Bunkers. One day they had quite an ad- 
venture. 

Back of Captain Ben's bungalow was a barn. 
That is, it had been a barn at one time, but 
after Captain Ben bought the place, and had 
an automobile in place of a horse, he did not 
use much of the stable, needing only room 
enough for his car. But the barn made a fine 
place for the six little Bunkers to play, and one 
afternoon, when Tad had called, Russ said : 

"Let's go out to the barn and have some 
fun!" 

"All right!" Tad agreed. 

Rose had gone for a walk with her mother 
and Margy, but Mun Bun and Laddie remained 
behind to play with Russ and Tad. Daddy 
Bunker and Captain Ben had gone fishing in 
the motor boat, and they went out quite a dis- 
tance in the bay. 

"Let's play hide and go seek!" proposed 



THE CAPTURE 241 

Tad, and this was agreed to. It was Tad's 
turn to close his eyes and give the others a 
chance to slip into various hiding places so 
Tad could not find them after he had opened 
his eyes. 

"Ready or not I'm coming !" cried Tad, when 
he had counted up to five hundred, by fives. 

"Wait a minute. I isn't hided yet!" cried 
Mun Bun, and Laddie, who had picked out a 
good place behind a pile of boards on the first 
floor of the old barn, saw his little brother 
going up the stairs that led to a loft over the 
place where the horses used to be stabled. 

"Don't fall, Mun Bun!" called Laddie in a 
whisper. 

"I won't!" answered the little fellow. 

"I'll count a hundred more," offered Tad, 
and this time, when he called "ready or not I'm 
coming," no one objected. They were all well 
hidden. 

When Tad went away from "home," to look 
for Russ and the others, Laddie managed to 
slip in "free," so he did not have to be "it." 
Russ also tried it, but he was not so lucky, and 
he was "spied" by Tad, and it was Russ's turn 
to blind his eyes next. 



242 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"Where's Mun Bun?" asked Russ, as Tad 
beat him to the "home." 

"He went up there," and Laddie pointed to 
the stairs. 

"Oh, he oughtn't go up there!" exclaimed 
Russ. "He might fall. Come on down, Mun 
Bun," he called. 

"All right," was the answer, faint and far 
away. There was the sound of footsteps on 
the loft floor overhead and then suddenly the 
noise of a fall, and the voice of Mun Bun burst 
out crying. 

"Oh, I failed! I failed!" wailed the little 
fellow. "I failed down a hole, and I can't get 
out!" 

At the same time there was the sound of 
shoes kicking on wood, and the sound came 
from one of the mangers, or the place in the 
old horse stalls where the animals were given 
their feed. 

"He must have fallen down through the 
place where they put the hay !" cried Russ, and 
he and Tad hurried to the stall. Just as they 
reached it Mun Bun stood up in the manger, 
which was like a long, narrow box. He was 
covered with wisps of hay, and he was crying, 



THE CAPTURE 243 

but a quick look showed that he was not hurt. 

"What happened?" asked Russ, as he lifted 
his little brother down out of the manger. 

"Oh, I was hiding upstairs, and I walked 
across the floor, and then I failed down a hole, 
and I thought I couldn't get out, but I did," 
said Mun Bun. 

"I see how it happened," remarked Tad. 
"There's a hole cut through the floor upstairs, 
and a sort of chute that comes down into the 
horse stall manger. They used to shove hay- 
down that chute, and there must have been 
some still stuck in it. Mun Bun fell down the 
hole, and he wasn't hurt on account of the 
hay." 

So, that was how it had happened. Mun 
Bun had stepped into the hay chute, and, there 
being a wad of old fodder still in it, he had 
been dropped down gently, almost as though 
down a dumb waiter shaft, into the manger 
below. 

"Well, you didn't find me, anyhow, I corned 
down myself," said Mun Bun when he had 
stopped crying and had been brushed off by 
Russ and Tad. 

Then the boys played hide and seek a little 



244 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

longer, but Mun Bun did not again go up into 
the loft of the barn to play. 

When the game was over they went back 
to the house. Mun Bun said he was hungry, 
and Russ admitted that he, too, could eat some 
bread and jam. 

"If mother's there she'll give us some," he 
said to Tad. "But if she isn't we can get it 
ourselves." 

However, Mrs. Bunker had returned from 
her walk with Rose, Margy and Vi, and she 
gave the boys and girls, including the visitor, 
some generous slices of bread, spread thick 
with raspberry jam which she had made from 
berries the children picked on Captain Ben's 
place. 

Just as the six little Bunkers finished this 
late afternoon lunch, there was a shouting 
down at the dock. At first Mrs. Bunker 
thought something had happened, but when 
she saw her husband and Captain Ben getting 
out of the motor boat, holding up long strings 
of fish they had caught, she knew the reason 
for the joyful noise. 

"Oh, what dandy fish !" cried Russ. "I wish 
I could catch some!" 



THE CAPTURE 245 

'We'll take you along next time," promised 
his father. 

Laddie, who had gone to the boat to look in 
and see if any more fish were there, suddenly 
uttered a cry of pain. 

"Oh, did you get stuck on a hook?" ex- 
claimed his mother. 

"No, but a big crab bit me!" cried Laddie, 
and he danced around with a crab clinging to 
his finger until his father took off the pinching 
creature. 

"This crab took told of the bait on my hook," 
explained Mr. Bunker, "and he clung on until 
I lifted him into the boat. I forgot he was 
there. Never mind, Laddie, he didn't make 
your finger bleed." For the crab had taken 
hold of the little boy's finger at a thick part, 
and no blood was drawn. 

The six little Bunkers looked at the fish 
their father and Captain Ben had caught, and 
a little later some of the fish were fried for 
supper. 

"Oh, this is the nicest place we were ever 
at," said Rose with a happy little song, when 
the time came for Tad to take the trolley car 
back to Avalon. 



246 SIX LITTLE BUNKERS AT CAPTAIN BEN'S 

"I wish we could always have two vacations 
every year," remarked Russ. "I want to make 
another boat before we go back home." 

"And I want to think of another riddle," 
Laddie exclaimed. 

"When are we going back? Will school 
open soon? Can we come here again? What 
are we going to do to-morrow?" asked Vi. 

"Oh, what a lot of questions!" laughed her 
mother. "We are not going back right away. 
We shall still have some fun at Captain Ben's." 

And so we will leave the six Little Bunkers, 
hoping to meet them again amid new scenes. 



THE END 



THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES 

By LAURA LEE HOPE 

Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twins" Books 

Wrapper ant text illustrations drawn by 
FLORENCE ENGLAND NOSWORTHY 

12mo. DURABLY BOUND. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING 

These stories by the author of the ' 'Bobbsey Twins' ' Books 
are eagerly welcomed by the little folks from about five to ten 
years of age. Their eyes fairly dance with delight at the lively 
doings of inquisitive little Bunny Brown and his cunning, trust- 
ful sister Sue. 

Bunny was a lively little boy, very inquisitive. When he did 
anything, Sue followed his leadership. They had many adven- 
tures, some comical in the extreme. 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRAND- 
PA'S FARM 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING 
CIRCUS 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP 
REST-A-WHILE 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT 
LU'S CITY HOME 4 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS' SISTER "SUE IN THE BIG 
WOODS 

.BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO 
TOUR 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR 
SHETLAND PONY 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE GIVING A 
SHOW 

BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRIST- 
MAS TREE COVE 

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New York 



THE I BOBBSEY TWINS' BOOKS 

For Little, Men' and y Women 

By LAURA" LEE,' HOPE 

Author of "The Bunny > Brown'i«Series>Etc. 

12tno. DURABLY BOUND. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING 

Copyright publications which cannot be obtained else- 
where. Books that charm the hearts of the little ones, 
and of which they never tire. 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY 

THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY 

ISLAND 
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE 

SEA 
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST 

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New York 



THE OUTDOOR CHUMS SERIES 

By CAPTAIN QUINCY ALLEN 

The outdoor chums are four wide-awake lads, sons of 
wealthy men of a small city located on a lake. The boys 
love outdoor life, and are greatly interested in hunting, fish- 
ing, and picture taking. They have motor cycles, motor 
boats, canoes, etc., and during their vacations go everywhere 
and have all sorts of thrilling adventures. The stories give 
full directions for camping out, how to fish, how to hunt wild 
animals and prepare the skins for stuffing, how to manage a 
canoe, how to swim, etc. Full of the spirit of outdoor life. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS 

Or The First Tour of the Rod, Gun and Camera Club. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON THE LAKE 
Or Lively Adventures on Wildcat Island. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS IN THE FOREST 
Or Laying the Ghost of Oak Ridge. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON THE GULF 
Or Rescuing the Lost Balloonists. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS AFTER BIG GAME 
Or Perilous Adventures in the Wilderness. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON A HOUSEBOAT 
Or The Rivals of the Mississippi. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS IN THE BIG WOODS 
Or The Rival Hunters at Lumber Run. 

THE OUTDOOR CHUMS AT CABIN POINT 
Or The Golden Cup Mystery. 

12mo. Averaging 240 pages. Illustrated. Handsomely 
bound in Cloth. 

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New York 



THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL 
HIGH SERIES 

By GERTRUDE W. MORRISON 

[ i ' ■ 

12mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATE!. UfUTOftM STYLE OF BINOMBe 

Here is a series full of the spirit of high school life of to- 
day. The girls are real flesh-and-blood characters, and we fol- 
low them with, interest in school and out There are many 
contested matches on track and field, and on the water, as well 
as doings in the classroom and on the school stage. There is 
plenty of fun and excitement, all clean, pure and wholesome, 

THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH 
Or Rivals for all Honors. 

A stirring tale of high, school life, full of fun, with a touch 
of mystery and a strange initiation. 

THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON LAKE LUNA 
Or The Crew That Won. 

Telling of water sports and fan galore, and of fine times In camp, 

THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH AT BASKETBALL 
Or The Great Gymnasium Mystery. 

Sere we have a number of thrilling contests at basketball and In 
addition, the solving of a mystery which had bothered the high 
echool authorities for a long while, 

THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON THE STAGE 
Or The Play That Took the Prize. 

How the girls went in for theatricals and how one of them wrote 
a play which afterward was mad* over for the professional stage 
and brought in some much-needed money. 

THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON TRACK AND 

FIELD 
Or The Girl Champions of the School League 

This story takes in high school athletics in their most approved 
land up-to-date fashion. Full of fun and excitement. 

THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH IN CAMP 
Or The Old Professor's Secret 

The girls went camping on Acorn Island and had a delightful 
time at boating, swimming and picnic parties. 

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New York 



THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS 
SERIES 

By LAURA LEE HOPE 

Author of "The Bobbsey Twins Series." 

12mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING 

The adventures of Ruth and Alice DeVere. Their father, 
a widower, is an actor who has taken up work for the 
"movies." Both girls wish to aid him in his work and visit 
various localities to act in all sorts of pictures. 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS 

Or First Appearance in Photo Dramas. 

Having lost his voice, the father of the girls goes into the movies 
and the girls follow. Tells how many "parlor dramas" are filmed- 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT OAK FARM 
Or Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays. 

Full of fun m the country, the haps and mishaps of taking film 
plays, and giving an account of two unusual discoveries. 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS SNOWBOUND 
Or The Proof on the Film. 

A tale of winter adventures in the wilderness, showing how the 
photo-play actors sometimes suffer. 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS UNDER THE PALMS 
Or Lost in the Wilds of Florida. 

How they went to the land of palms, played many parts in dramas 
before the camera; were lost, and aided others who were also lost. 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT ROCKY RANCH 
Or Great Days Among the Cowboys. 

All whe have ever seen moving pictures of the great West will 
want_ to know just how they are made. This volume gives every detail 
and is full of clean fun and excitement. 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT SEA 
Or a Pictured Shipwreck that Became Real. 

A thrilling account of the girls' experiences on the water. 

THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS IN WAR PLAYS 
Or The Sham Battles at Oak Farm. 

The girls play important parts in big battle scenes and have plenty 
of hard work along with considerable fum. 

Grossf.t & Dunlap, Publishers, New York 



^THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS 
SERIES' 

By VICTOR APPLETON 

I- 12mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATES. UM1FC8M STYLE OF BINDIN G. 

' Moving pictures and photo plays are famous the world 
over, and in this line of books the reader is given a full 
description of how the films are made — the scenes of little 
dramas, indoors and out, trick pictures to satisfy the curious, 
soul-stirring pictures of city affairs, life in the Wild West, 
among the cowboys and Indians, thrilling rescues along the 
seacoast, the daring of picture hunters in the jungle among 
savage beasts, and the great risks run in picturing conditions 
in a land of earthquakes. The volumes m teem with adven- 
tures and will be found interesting from first chapter to last. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS 
Or Perils of a Great City Depicted. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE WEST 
Or Taking Scenes Among the Cowboys and Indians. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS ON THE COAST 
Or Showing the Perils of the Deep. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE JUNGLE 
Or Stirring Times Among the Wild Animals. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN EARTHQUAKE 
Or Working Amid Many Perils. LAND 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AND THE FLOOD 
Or Perilous Days on the Mississippi. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AT PANAMA 
Or Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canal. 

THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS UNDER THE SEA 
Or The Treasure of the Lost Ship. 

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers, New Yobr 



'■';■'■:■■ J ',. '■:.' ■'•■v : "-r"'-. : \. '